Behind her, the others were talking about all the experiences they’d had, at camps and jamborees. There was a lot of laughter. Well, she thought, they seemed to be feeling as relaxed and hopeful as I am.
After a few minutes, she realized that they had started reciting limericks, and she wondered if they were making them up. Billy recited one none of them had heard before.
“Izard the Wizard
A wizard who dabbled in gizzards,
Had a grudge against Izard the Wizard.
They battled all night
In a magical fight,
Now Izard the Wizard’s a lizard.”
“Billy!” Nancy gasped. “Did you make that up?”
“No, I wish I did,” he answered. “A friend of my Mom’s did. She writes lots of poetry and stuff. I like reading her stories.” He grinned. “I just really like that one, so I memorized it.”
“Well, It’s a good one,” Nancy said. “Thanks for sharing it.”
“You’re welcome,” he said. His grin was so wide it almost split his face, he was so pleased with their reception of his contribution to the fun.
The Scout Leader, Arthur Heinlein came up with another. “I just made this one up,” he told them. “I call it:
A scouting commissioner named Ted
Had hair that was fiery red.
On a field trip he thought
He'd just missed being shot,
‘With a hat on, I’d surly be dead!’
“True story,” she laughed.
“Wow, Ted, really? You were almost shot?”
“Well, yes – I had a bunch of Venturers out in the woods doing tracking and some hunters were out there. One saw movement, took aim, and was about to fire when his friend saw my hair and stopped him. He was almost as shaken as I was!” Ted chuckled. "And of course, Art is not ever going to let me forget it!”
Arwin was laughing as she drove on. Everything is going so well, she thought we will be at Dauphin Lake in a couple of hours, if it goes like this the rest of the way. She said a quiet prayer that all the problems were behind them. There were more limericks as the bus rolled on, and a lot more laughter. Then Elizabeth spoke up.
“I don’t have any limericks, but I do have a riddle.
"Stay up all night
But never fight.
My arrow's flight
Will set you right
Who am I?
“Can anyone guess?”
They thought about it, asking her to repeat it, but finally gave up. “I know,” Arwin said. “Great!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “What is the answer?”
“It’s the constellation Orion,” Arwin said, laughing.
“Right you are! Good for you. All these Scouting Guiding people should have known that!” Elizabeth laughed heartily pointing her forefingers at the others. They all laughed with her.
"Ok, it we’re into riddles, I have one,” Robert Little announced. “See if you can answer this one.”
“If you should take my homely load
Your aching back would break.
I travel down a lonely road,
Strewing silver in my wake.
What am I?”
Once again there was a pause while they all thought. Then Billy shouted “I know, I know! It’s a snail! They always leave a silvery track, and they carry their house with them!” He laughed heartily when Elizabeth nodded her head and patted him on the back. “Good going!” she said.
“We are approaching Dauphin Lake community, folks,” Arwin announced. “We’ll be at the community centre in five minutes.”
That caused a stir as everyone checked to see that they were ready to get off the bus. They gathered knitting and papers and books and repacked them, and did the best they could to straighten their uniforms. Then they watched as the bus drew up in front of a large wooden building. In front was a reception committee, with the band’s Chief at centre front. Cameras flashed as the bus pulled to a stop, and the door opened.
Annabeth and Billy stepped off, walked up to the chief and saluted, standing at attention. “We are here to deliver our gifts to you, sir,” they chorused. A round of clapping greeted them and grew as the rest alit. Soon they were shaking hands with everyone, and then the unloading started, the onlookers coming forward to speed it up.
Two hours later they were all gathered in the community centre, enjoying an entertainment put on by the band. After that, there was a big feast, the centre of which was venison, provided by the chief. He and his son had gone hunting the day before and brought it in.
Much later that night, as they were saying goodnight to everyone, Annabeth said to Billy, “This was the best Christmas ever – and tomorrow we go home and have Christmas all over again!” Billy giggled. “Yes – not every year we get two Christmases, and this was a great way to celebrate.” They turned away to their rooms, and soon all was quiet. A perfect end to a very unusual trip, Arwin thought.