Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Jungle Trek

By Simren Bhatia, 6th Grade, Georgia

 

I had no idea why they were standing there. Dozens upon dozens, maybe even a hundred jungle animals stood there, surrounding my sister and me in a circle-like formation. Was this one of the many spectacular scenes of the Safari Extravaganza? I didn’t think so, seeing as our tour guide was long gone. As the animals watched us intently, I thought about how just a few days ago, my family and I had boarded a plane to Costa Rica for a week-long vacation. Now, my sister and I stood in the middle of this ring of animals, scared and somewhat alone and lost in the middle of a Costa Rican jungle. I told myself that if I ever found a way to get out of this jungle, I was surely going to complain to the Safari Extravaganza management.

“Lily, I’m scared…” my sister whispered in my ear.

“Don’t worry Abby,” I assured her, though I was quite worried myself.

Abby simply nodded her head, which I found was a good sign. I didn’t want her to start crying, because then the animals would freak out too.

I didn’t have a plan as to what we were going to do. All I knew was that Abby and I had to make a run for it. I told Abby to stay in the middle of the circle and not to make a sound. I slowly walked up to a monkey with my head bowed low. Both the monkey and my sister were watching my every move with great concern. Then, I looked up at the monkey. The monkey seemed mildly shocked at first, then he grinned and moved aside. Every animal behind him did the same. In a matter of seconds, the animal ring had made a clearing for my sister and me.

I gestured for my sister to follow me and we slowly walked out of the animal ring. Once we were far, far away from the animal ring, I looked back to ensure none of the animals had followed us. Nothing was anywhere around us. It looked as if my sister and I were the only living creatures here (other than the plants, of course). I whipped out my cell phone and dialed my mom’s number to try and call for help. An automated message responded, saying I didn’t have a signal and to try again later. I rolled my eyes and shoved my cell phone in my pocket.

I turned to Abby and said, “Okay Abby… just follow my lead. And whatever you do, don’t get lost. Okay?”

Abby simply nodded her head again. I held her hand and we walked through the jungle. Even if we had no clue where we were headed, the scenery was gorgeous. Various jungle plants were scattered everywhere and the soil was firm and perfect for walking. After about ten minutes of clueless wandering, I stopped and motioned for Abby to stop as well. We sat down under a shady tree for a few minutes to think and make a plan.

I turned to Abby and said, “Are you scared?”

Abby shook her head.

“Good. Because I promise we’ll find a way out of here,” I said reassuringly.

Abby nodded once more, and this time she smiled too.

“You know Abby, once summer vacation is over and we go back home, you can tell all your friends about this crazy adventure. They may not believe you, but I’ll be there to back you up. Think about the looks on their faces! Tell me this isn’t the best vacation we’ve ever taken!” I told her.

“This is pretty fun,” Abby replied.

“Good. Now follow me. I think I’ve found us a way out.”

We stood up, brushed off the dirt from our pants, and started our trek once more. I had noticed on our way here that tiki torches lined the way. I scoured the area for any sign of a tiki torch, but I found nothing. Abby and I decided to head in the other direction.

A few minutes later, Abby grabbed my hand and said, “Look Lily! A tiki torch! Up ahead!”

We dashed to the single tiki torch, and immediately found a line of more tiki torches. We followed the path (like Hansel and Gretel) and we found our way out of the jungle.

I turned to Abby and said, “You know, you’re one awesome eight-year-old.”

She just grinned and said, “Thanks. I know.”

We both ran up to our hotel room to try and find our parents and tell them about the interesting hour we just had. We burst through the door and yelled, “We’re back!”

My parents came out of their bedroom and greeted us.

“How was the Safari Extravaganza?” my mom asked.

“You’re not going to believe this, but we kind of got lost in the middle of a Costa Rican jungle, and then found our way out,” I said, grinning.

My parents looked at each other, their eyes filled with curiosity, then they turned to us.

We told them everything that had just happened, and as we told them, they asked us (particularly me) questions like, “Did you lose your sister, Lily?” and “Seriously? The tour guide just left?”

After we finished our story however, some things still didn’t make sense. We had been with the rest of the kids group, and the tour guide was explaining something, and then they had walked to the next stop. My sister and I followed, but then the animal ring had started to form. Animals seemed to come out of every corner, and by the time the circle had completely formed, the tour guide and the rest of the group were long gone. My sister and I had stood there, paralyzed with a mix of fear, wonder, and awe.

One thing I know is that now, I’ll have a really good story to tell for the rest of my life, and so will my sister!