Excerpt from Chapter 6: Snake on the Loose!
From Rosco the Rascal Goes to Camp.
Chapter fiction for kids 6+
Jeffrey the prankster is causing more trouble in the cabin group, and James and Mike are really starting to become fed up with it all.
“Snake! There’s a snake!” Josh yelled.
“Where?” James cried, looking around.
“On my bed! Under the covers!” Tim answered from the corner of the room. He pointed at his bunk.
The boys rushed over. “What kind it is? Is it poisonous?” James asked.
“I don’t know! I can’t see the head. It just looks big and brown, with patterned lines on its back!” Tim said.
The long, thick snake had spread itself out in an S shape inside Tim’s sleeping bag. Its body bulged under the covers. Its tail end stuck out.
Mike, a cabin mate who usually sat at James’s table for meals, stepped closer to inspect the creature. “My brother has a pet boa at home. I can handle this,” he said. He started to reach for the sleeping bag.
“Wait!” said James. “It might bite! We’re not sure if it’s poisonous yet!”
“I think you mean venomous. But it doesn’t have a rattle—it can’t be a rattlesnake,” Mike said.
“I know, but still!” James answered. He brought his voice down to almost a whisper. “You can never be too careful. Can someone go grab a stick?”
One of the boys quickly rushed outside and grabbed the first long stick he could find. He brought it in and handed it to James, who handed it to Mike.
“Okay, go ahead Mike,” said James.
The two of them stepped cautiously toward the bed. The rest of the large group of boys gathered around.
“Stay back, guys,” James said. “Just in case it strikes.”
Mike carefully used the stick to lift up the top layer of the sleeping bag. The sleeping bag wasn’t zippered so he was able to pull it back very slowly.
Everyone waited and watched, eyes wide. Half of the snake’s body, from the tail to the middle, was now visible. But nothing happened.
Surprised, James and Mike stepped a little bit closer. Using the stick, Mike swung the rest of the sleeping bag off of the beast in one fast, sweeping motion.
There it was, the whole snake! Almost three feet long and two inches thick, its devilish eyes stared straight at the boys. Its long, skinny tongue stuck out at them. But still, it didn’t move—no hiss, no slither, and no strike.
“Wait! Wait a second! That isn’t real; I think it’s a fake!” Mike yelled. The boys all looked at each other in shock. Mike cautiously waved his hand in front of the snake’s face. Nothing happened. Tim stepped closer and yanked on his sleeping bag. Still, nothing happened.
“It is fake!” Caleb said. The boys looked around at each other to see who had played such a rotten joke.
“Gotcha!” Jeffrey broke into laughter. “You dummies! You guys all thought it was real! Ha ha ha! You should’ve seen the looks on your faces! Scaredy cats!”
But no one else laughed.
“That wasn’t funny, Jeffrey!” James said. “It could’ve easily been a real snake! We’re way out in the woods! It could’ve slithered in while we were at lunch.”
“Aw, come on. Don’t you have a sense of humor? Come on, guys! It was only a joke,” Jeffrey said. He glanced across the room. Everyone looked annoyed by his little trick.
Jeffrey walked over to the bed and picked up the large, rubber snake. He shoved it in Mike’s face. “It’s just a joke! See! Not real! Can’t you guys take a joke?”
Mike grabbed the snake’s hollow head and scrunched it hard with his fist. “Very funny,” he said flatly.
James climbed to the top bunk and settled down on his mattress. “We should’ve known it was you, Jeffrey. First the hat, now this. We’d all better watch our backs with you around.”
Jeffrey sat down on his own bunk. “Bunch of babies,” he mumbled.
Read more to find out how the boys will handle Jeffrey and his pranks.
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