This one is under 300 words, and  so I classify it as  flash fiction.

Amanda listened, wide-eyed, to her elder brother’s report about his Boy Scout’s camping trip. He spoke of s’mores, ghost stories, flickering flames, camp-fire cooking, the aroma of wood smoke and the beauty of the stars. His discourse gave Amanda and her younger sister images of a cozy home-from-home, little wonder that Amanda begged her parents to give her a tent for her tenth birthday. 

When the tent arrived, Amanda requested a camping trip. Her parents weren’t excited by the thought of an out-of-town excursion, and hit on the idea of a camping trip in their premises. The weather forecast was good, no rain predicted.

Their father arrived home on the day of their camp to find that his daughters had already managed to erect their tent. They were blissfully playing house with an assortment of dolls and stuffed animals. He and their brother set up an adjacent tent. They cooked hot dogs on a portable BBQ and roasted marshmallows before a chimaera.

When it was time to sleep their mother kissed the children and told them that she was going inside to her very own comfortable bed. She invited anyone who wished to follow her indoors. An hour later, her son joined her. He explained that night sounds of coyotes, and distant traffic was eclipsed by his loud snoring father.

“Two fifths,” said his mother “Three to go.”

At midnight, the girls woke up with a shock for it was raining and wet inside their tent. They gathered up their wet toys and ran into the house.

“Four fifths,’ said their mother, “One to go.”

Before joining the family inside, their father, woken by the kafuffle, ran to the garage to turn off the irrigation system for the girls had pitched their tent on top of a lawn sprinkler.


15 thoughts on “THE CAMPING TRIP

  1. I chuckled at the end, thank you Jane. Your story stirred childhood camping memories. Eric’s story also stirred childhood memories, albeit scarier ones. Hugs for you both, Jane. Xxx

  2. Haha, loved the final wrap up! 🙂 Where our kids were bought up it would have been too dangerous to camp outside. Sleeping with a cobra or viper snake looking for warmth is not the best kind of recreation. So we used to erect a tent in the middle of the living room and the kids and their friends would camp there for the night telling their ghost stories and scaring themselves silly. Now and then I’d liven up the proceedings by dressing in a sheet and suddenly appearing at the tent door. Those kids were quicker than a plane breaking the sound barrier getting out of that tent.

    • Read Eric’s horrific snake story below, it validates your caution about camping in snake territory. I suppose this means that my Honduran grandchildren will have to wait until they visit Texas to enjoy the pleasures of camping. Our garden which has irrigation is unsuitable for camping as we have no grass!

  3. Laughing out loud – that was a good one, Jane.

    I like how the mother count – two fifths…four fifths. Poor mother, did she get any sleep?

    If you’ll allow me to share a story from the Reader’s Digest several decades ago, a true camping story:

    A bunch of guys ensconced in sleeping bags in the woods. Come morning, one of them realised a snake had joined him inside his sleeping bag. It had coiled on his chest. (I suspect the heartbeat must have been lulling.)

    They were unsure whether the snake was poisonous.

    His buddies moved about gingerly. They could not unzip the bag without having to tug and jerk. The danger of a snake strike was real.

    They slit an opening near the foot of the bag, lighted a wet fire and blew smoke into the bag. The idea was to smoke out the snake.

    The poor guy had to remain still and stifle his choking coughs. Meanwhile, the sun had come up, and he was pouring sweat.

    It was a few hours before the snake stirred and slithered out. I don’t recall the species—but it was a poisonous snake.

    Glad it was only water and noise that upset the four-fifths.

    • Thank you for sharing this tale of the sleeping poisonous snake. It is good enough for frequent repetition, but then snake stories ae always gripping. I always thought that our fear of snakes was innate, but recently my four-year-old grand-son who lives in Honduras got bitten by a snake that he found in the garden and was petting.. Fortunately it was NOT poisonous .

      • I felt compelled to reply, Jane,

        Thank god that snake was not poisonous. Scary thought.

        I had an encounter with a snake – a viper – might post the tale on my blog.


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