Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Ice Age Adventure

By Aditi Gokhale, age 8, New Jersey

 

I opened the book, and out slipped a photograph. I felt a bit flustered as I wasn’t quite expecting a photograph in the book that I had borrowed earlier in the day from the Scotch Plains Library. My friend, Chris, had highly recommended the book, Ice Age, on which the movie is based. I remember explaining to Chris that I had already seen the movie, but he commented, “Aditi, believe me. The book from the library will give you a unique experience.” So, I found myself checking out the book at the front desk of the library. Our librarian, who is a very friendly lady, handed me the book, smiled, and said, “Have fun!”

In the afternoon, I went to Ponderosa Park, which is just around the corner from my house. As I sat in the park, I admired the beautiful trees and was charmed by the wonderful sound of the wind whistling through the leaves. The July sun warmed me up, and I settled in the shadow of an old oak tree next to a little bridge below, which runs a little stream. As an acorn fell on my head, I imagined the little squirrel from the movie rushing past me to catch his prize, and I had to smile thinking what my dad would have said: “This one has an overactive imagination.” Right then, as I opened the book, the photograph fell out, and I felt a strange shiver pass through my spine. As I looked at the falling photograph, I could see myself in a selfie with a strange, icy landscape behind me, and before I could understand what was going on, I felt a strong wind almost physically pick me off the ground.

I found myself feeling very cold. I was literally freezing cold, in the middle of July! The sound of rustling leaves had stopped, and everything seemed silent. As I looked up, I was greeted by an icy landscape. I realized that I was no longer in my beloved Ponderosa Park. My summer clothes offered me no protection against what felt like subzero temperatures. I figured out why I was feeling cold but could not understand where I was or what was going on. As I fumbled through my pockets, I realized that all I had with me other than the book were a swiss army knife that my dad had gifted me on my last birthday and my mom’s phone, which she had given me in case of emergencies. This certainly was an emergency! I immediately tried to call home, but there was no cell service.

I figured that the most important thing for me to do was to find a warm spot. I got up and started walking down what looked like a little hill. I must have walked for perhaps a mile when I heard some voices from behind a large boulder. Curious, I walked towards the sounds, only to see a group of people wearing animal skin coats and boots. I thought, “Thank God, I am saved!” I yelled out, “Help me.” The people I called out to were startled and started running away. Suddenly, one of them turned back and stopped. He stared at me for a second and started running towards me. He had what looked like a club in his hand. I did not know whether to be happy or scared. As the man approached me, I realized that he was actually a kid, probably even younger than me. He said to me, “Tut tot kut pit pat tut.”

Now I was totally scared. I thought, “Could it be that I had for some weird reason entered the ice age? These things happened only in stories and movies—never in real life. What’s going on here?” All I could do was stare at the boy. But as I stared, his language seemed to start making sense. It felt as if he was saying, “Who are you, and are you cold?” I suddenly found myself responding back in his language that I was indeed very cold. He quickly gave me a fur coat. I thought, “My first mink coat” and had to smile. Very soon the boy’s entire family gathered around me. They all looked like they could use a bath, but under the circumstances I was happy to have them around. I named them Boy, Mam, Pap, PapPap, MamMam, Biggy, Ziggy, and Riggy. As you might expect, Biggy was a big guy, and Ziggy and Riggy sort of rhymed. From their discussions, I realized that they all seemed to be afraid of something called a Ror. I wondered what a Ror looked like and hoped that I would never find out.

I was now completely sure that I was in the Ice Age. I wondered, “Did the book send me here, and if so, was there a way to get back to my Mom and Dad? Did Chris know about all this?” I had to focus on the present, and by that I perhaps mean the past. I asked MamMam where we were, and she pointed towards a large mountain and explained that we were quite close to an ocean where we all wanted to go. It turned out that the large mountain was a glacier and getting across it was a major challenge, and so we decided to camp out at our spot. I called the tall mountain Appalachia after the Appalachian range and the trail that I knew close to my home in New Jersey.

As the sunset approached, everyone seemed to be getting alert and scared at the same time. I wondered the reason for this and was about to ask the same when I heard a roar. “Ror!” yelled everyone all at once. “Yikes!” I never expected to see a lion or a tiger. I rather prefer them in the Bronx Zoo or the San Diego Zoo, where I had seen them before. Now I was truly scared. Mam, Pap, Biggy, and Riggy started dancing madly with flaming clubs in their hands as Boy and I huddled next to a large rock. MamMam and PapPap comforted us and kept telling us that everything would be all right. I thought to myself that there was no way everything would be all right. I sorely missed my mom and dad and our comfortable home. I resolved that if I ever got back again to them, I would thank them every day for giving me such a wonderful life. As I was thinking this, the Ror came into view, and I realized that it was a saber-tooth tiger. Not thinking completely, I jumped to action and took out my swiss army knife. The knife was no match for the tiger, but when Pap saw it, he quickly took it from me and inserted it into his club. The next time Pap went to hit Ror with the club, the tiger saw something sharp and shiny and got just as scared as I was. He ran away almost immediately.

The family was rejoicing as Pap removed the swiss army knife and stared at it. He said, “What is this? I have never seen anything like this before.” I told him that it was a cool little gift that my pap had given me. He seemed to like it a lot, so I offered it to him. He accepted it and carefully kept it in his leopard skin outfit. It was his most prized possession. With Ror gone, everyone, including me, slept peacefully. In summers, I usually wake up quite late, but the Ice Age Aditi was up with the sun. By now, I had pretty much given up on finding my mom and dad but was still excited to explore my new world. Boy and Riggy were up as well, and we decided to go play.

As we were playing, we came across a little mound. As I crossed the mound, everything looked very familiar. It was as if I had been here before. There was a little patch of swamp in the field of ice, and a little brook ran from the swamp. I was reminded of my neighborhood and the little stream that my friends and I passed by on the way to school. If I was right, Ponderosa Park would be just about a few yards away with my home right around the corner. I rushed down what I thought would be Cooper Road with Riggy and Boy chasing me. As I peeped through the trees that were growing in the swamp, I saw the trunk of a tree fallen across a brook, and it was almost like the bridge that I loved to sit on at Ponderosa Park. I remembered that I had my mom’s cell phone with me and so decided to snap a picture of myself next to this bridge. I saw Boy running right behind me and thought that I needed to hide away the phone immediately so that the family would not freak out.

I turned around to hide the phone, but all I saw was greenery everywhere. The entire adventure seemed to have vanished into thin air. I felt something brush against my leg and saw that it was the photograph still falling from the book. It was as if time stood still for a whole day. I picked up the photograph to look at it carefully, and surely enough you could see me against the backdrop of an icy landscape of what might have been the Ponderosa Park in the Ice Age. At the edge of the selfie was a picture of Boy, but it was too blurred to really say what it was. I wondered if it was all a dream. But as I checked my pocket, I was missing the swiss army knife as well. I came back home quite confused and told my mom and dad the entire story thanking them for giving me such a great life. They smiled at me, but when they thought I was out of their earshot, I heard my dad say, “Wow, this one really has an active imagination! She could have just told me that she lost the swiss army knife. Anyway, we should be glad that she is thankful for the things that she has.”

The next day, I went back to the library to return the book. As I entered the library, I saw my friend Chris talking to the librarian. As I turned in the book, he remarked, “So Aditi, did you enjoy the Ice Age experience? I guess that means I am not really the first person to discover America.” At that instant, it all came together, and I understood the true identity of my dear friend Christopher. Our librarian gave me a new book, titled The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, and said, “This time round, you could perhaps read it along with Chris. I promise it will be a lot more fun.”

Turns out it was a lot of fun, but I guess that is a story for some other time.

One comment

  1. Congratulations Aditi! Great storyline and storytelling, weaving back and forth from one “age” to another “age” ! Gripping pace leaving us wanting more! We are excited about your “writing adventure” journeys! May you have many many more!
    Your forever fans
    Heena Aunty and Deepak Uncle !

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