And now, exhausted, sweaty and covered in messy camouflage cream, we came to our final activity of the weekend. Stalking. Our aim was to steal a rucksack (or burgeon as they are called) that was leaning against a tree. In the meantime, both our NCO and the officer in charge of the activity would be hunting for us with rifles full of blanks. We immediately raced off to hide in the bushes.
We had three attempts at this exercise. The first time I ran out to early and got caught just before I grabbed the burgeon. The second time I wasn’t so much caught as trodden on by the NCO as he looked around in the bushes.
More bruises to add to my fast-growing collection.
The third time was probably my favourite. All the others, save for Sminge and I had been caught. I was lurking in a pile of dead bracken. Sminge I believe was somewhere in a clump of dense trees, doing his best to look like a branch. The officer was somewhere off behind us, and the NCO was standing near the burgeon. Feeling brave, I crept forward a few paces, being careful not to snap any twigs. He didn’t look round. I moved further some more, still he didn’t move. Then, in a last burst of speed I catapulted out of the bushes, seized the burgeon.
I also landed in a somewhat untidy heap on the road, but that didn’t matter so much. The NCO immediately christened me to be “the Sneaker” and told me to stand aside so Sminge could have a go at grabbing it.
Unbeknownst to him, Sminge had already crept up behind the tree while I was distracting the NCO. The moment he put it down, Sminge’s green-painted hand shot out and grabbed it. We both whooped and hi-fived, proclaiming ourselves to be of ninja status when it came to sneaking around.
By the way, NCO still calls me Sneaker now when we do Stalking exercises.
I am ninja.