Here is the final chapter in this three-part story. In case you missed the first two chapters of “Lost in the Woods,” here are the links to them.
The shadows of the early evening begin to change the look and feel of the woods. Grandpa Ted has been making steady progress towards the cabin. He expects to reach it in about an hour.
Without warning, his right foot fails to notice a big hole hidden in the grass. Down goes Ted in pain and agony!
His ankle feels like it is broken, but he assumes it is more likely sprained. Standing up very gingerly and a bit off balance, he tests the injured ankle. It hurts like a son-of-a-gun, but he pushes onward. Not even an injured leg will keep him from finding Pete and Willy before dark.
Another night sky arrives, and the brothers are still feeling the ill effects of eating too many huckleberries much too quickly. Willy asks his older brother, “What are we going to do?”
Pete, feeling just as scared, answers back, “We need to keep believing. Help is coming.”
As the sun sets and darkness curls around the cabin, the brothers look out the open doorway of the cabin. From the edge of the clearing, a narrow beam of light comes from the woods. A shadowy man hobbles towards the boys. Pete yells out, “It’s Grandpa!”
Pete and Willy run out to meet their Grandpa. They are smiling and talking so fast that Grandpa can barely say a word. Finally, the reunion settles down, and the grandsons realize their Grandpa Ted is injured. They take care of him the best they can.
With Grandpa’s help, the boys start a small fire in the fireplace. They find the food in Grandpa’s backpack, and everyone enjoys a feast of cold beans with fire-grilled Spam from a can. “The best feast ever!” both grandsons admit at the same time.
The brothers and their Grandpa settle in for a night of sleep in the cabin. By dawn, all are awake and eager to begin the journey home. Grandpa’s ankle is badly swollen. Willy finds a longer, sturdy tree branch—just the perfect tool—for Grandpa to use as a crutch. Pete will carry the now much lighter backpack. Together, the grandsons will make sure their Grandpa Ted makes it back home, too.
Following Grandpa’s internal compass, the trio makes steady, yet slow progress in their morning walk towards home. The love of each for the other will insure all make it back safely. God has indeed been watching over all three of them.
They finally arrive at home, and Mom and Dad are overjoyed to see their two sons. Everyone is exhausted and in need of some much needed warm food, a shower, and some rest.
The time is 11:52. Grandpa Ted promised to have the boys home back by Noon, and he is good to his word.
At last report, Grandpa is mending at home for several weeks. The badly swollen ankle is indeed broken!