Lessons' in the Woods

[Long chapter warning]

I winced, looking up through the sun-drenched leaves of the trees, into the bright blue sky, with the low white sun to my right. I was thrown out of my daydream by a bundle of moist leaves landing on my head. I gathered some leaves up and chucked them back at dad; he wasn't expecting it so he got a mouthful of leaves!

 As they hit him, I ran off into the woods, and dad ran after me. "Hey, hey, listen, we've got to get down to business. Come here, we'll get started."

I went over to him and we started walking down the railway track (cycle path - it used to be a railway).

"Right, so when you get there, you've got to head straight to the big castle that has a moat and two big hills next to it. But you cannot talk or interact with anyone or anything. Clear? Good. Now, if you get there and it's night time or evening, the first thing you must do is make a shelter, without even looking at a creature. You can't make a flimsy little thing you did when you were a kid though - it's got to be a proper survival shelter." My dad said laughing.

"Flimsy little thing, eh? well, how about I make my shelter, and you make yours. Then we'll see which one is the best!" I said and dad nodded.

"Alright, you're on!" He grinned, and he stuck our his hand for me to shake, which I did.

I walked into the woods, looking for a good place to make my shelter. We leart how to make a survival shelter in scouts a couple of weeks ago. What I needed was two trees next to each other big enough for me to lie inbetween them, in a clearing if possible. As if my thoughts were magic, I came across a couple of trees perfect for me; strong and not wilting.

The next thing I needed to do was get a branch to act like a bar to be tied across the two trees. I found one laying on the floor that looked as though it had only been there a day or so. I hauled it up and saw that it was the right length, so now I needed to find something to tie it with. It was then that I remembered the program I saw on the television - it was a Bear Grills program about surviving in the forest. I recall him pulling up roots of a tree the are flexible and storng to tie the branch with, then I realised that what we learnt at scouts was from that program!

I searched around on the floor for a while and eventually came across some roots that were as described. I pulled them up with all my strength and soon got enough to work with, so I twisted it until it snapped and started tieing the branch on to one of the trees. Once that was done, I covered it with sticks, branches and leaves. After, I moved onto the bed.

I found three big stable branches and set them out for the legs of the bed. Oh, I had found a forth, but it was too big  - I'd need something to cut it with, something like an axe or knife. I knew my dad would have one so I went searching for him.

After a couple of minutes, I saw him with a pile of wood next to him, his penknife in his hand. "Dad!" I called.

"Hey, no peeking! I might give you some ideas! Anyway, why have you come here?"

"I need your penknife to cut a log with, will it do it?"

"A log? No, you can't cut a log with a penknife, you dummy! But I'll show you what you can do." He lead me over to his pile of wood and I realised that they were all quite thin. He picked one up and started to shave it at the top. Soon it was as sharp as a spear. He then told me to go and get the log, so I did as I was told.

He put the log on the ground and lined it up with the... I guess I could call it a spear. With a look of concentration on his face, he stabbed the log and made a dint. He continued doing this for sometime, making the spear blunter each time; he even sharpened it a couple of times. After a while, the log snapped in half perfectly.

"And that's how you cut a log!" He said to me. I thanked him and took it back to my shelter, then carried on with the bed.

I got the base of my bed by tieing four long branches to the legs, then covering that with lots of sticks, leaves and moss. I gathered up lots of moss and used that as a pillow. Nearly done! All I needed to do was get a pile of dry sticks for a fire in front of the bed.

I'd finished, in just over 2 hours. I ran to see my dad, to find that he'd finished too. Now we'd see who was the best!

The End

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