“Today’s the day!” said Mr. Collot, excitedly, to his family in their comfortable country kitchen. He was scurrying around trying to get everyone out the door as fast as possible. The Collots were a nice family. Mr. and Mrs. Collot have two kids: Oliver, who is 15, and Cara, who is 7. Every winter break the Collots go on a vacation. The problem is, this time they got a new dog; they already had two parakeets, Sky and Cloud.
Their new dog is a puppy, and he has to be watched over 24/7. Since they can’t take him with them, they had to have one of their neighbors, Mrs. Hollan, come over and watch him. The other animals are fine, all they have to do is leave out extra food and water, and they’re good; although, if they were to leave Buddy alone, that would be a disaster. They will only be gone for a couple days, but their animals don’t understand that. The day they were going to leave, they said goodbye to Sky, Cloud, and Buddy. Buddy wanted to go with them. He even tried to get in the car. Mr. Collot picked him up and put him back inside the house. Buddy was confused; he didn’t seem to understand why he couldn’t go with them. He howled like a dying woman.
Cara felt bad for Buddy and wished he could have gone with them. She asked her dad if he could go with them, but the place they were going to, didn’t allow pets. They were going to Keystone, Colorado to go skiing and it would have been too cold for their pets. The Collots live in Montezuma, Colorado, and wanted to go skiing again this year, since the kids were older. The last time they tried to go skiing Cara was only a 1 year old, and Oliver was 9.
After the Collots left, Mrs. Hollan proceeded to her house to put dinner in the oven. Once Buddy saw that she was gone he opened the kitchen door (something he picked up from the pound) and got out. He realized that it was happening all again “I can’t be left behind again!” thought Buddy. He ran back inside to get Sky and Cloud because he was going to need help. Buddy came bursting inside the house waking up Cloud, barking at the top of his lungs telling them that their family has left them and they need to go after them. After Buddy got everyone out of their cages they all went down the road the way Buddy saw the car go, hoping they could catch up and not be abandoned.
As the Collots drove down the road, all Cara could think about was the way Buddy’s face was when he realized he couldn’t go with them. Mr. Collot looked back at her and was trying to think of something to get her mind off of Buddy.
“Hey, how about we all get some hot cocoa for the road!!,” said Mr. Collot.
“That sound like a great idea,” replied Mrs. Collot.
“I’m down!,” exclaimed Oliver
“How about you Cara?,” asked Mr. Collot.
“No thank you,” said Cara in a small voice.
The Collots had an 11 hour drive ahead of them to get to Keystone. As they drove, the Collots were all very excited. Last time was fun, and they couldn't wait to do it again.
Buddy, Sky, and Cloud went down the road for hours. They ran as fast as they could, but had no luck.
“Come on! We have to catch them!,” Buddy yelled.
“I know, I know, but I can only flap my wings so fast!,” said Sky.
“Fine then, ride on my back with Cloud.”
“No, I’ve got it, but thank you for offering!”
“Ok, well let me know when you need a break.”
“Ok, I will.”
“Do you think that they would really leave us Buddy?” asked Sky.
“Well, all the signs are there.”
“Well, they left us with someone else, packed their stuff in their car, drove off really fast, and didn’t take us with them.”
“Yeah, I guess so, I just can’t believe they would do that, they have always been so kind to us.”
“I know I haven’t been in this family for very long, and I can’t judge them, but from my experience that's what they want you to think. ”
They went walking for another hour before Buddy thought he saw a shortcut they could take. As they started to turn down the ‘path’ Cloud kept asking if they were going the right way. Buddy started getting upset. As they were going, Buddy almost yelled at Cloud to be quiet.
“Would you be quiet?!,” yelled Buddy.
“Sorry, but are you sure you know where you are going?!” asked Cloud.
“No, I’m not, but I am sure we are going to get lost if you keep that up!”
As they went through the forest the sound of cars driving by got smaller and smaller. They were getting further away from the road, from civilization, from their home. Buddy began to worry he had taken them on the wrong path; he frantically searched for anything familiar, but found nothing. Should I tell them we are lost thought Buddy, not even noticing he was no longer walking, but standing still.
“Are you ok Buddy? You look worried,” asked Sky.
Buddy looked at Sky a little confused, but then realized what she had asked. “No, I'm not. I think I made us lost... but that’s ok, we will get out of this. (I hope)”.
It started to become dark. They walked some more down the path and encountered a deer. The deer looked at them curiously, then bound away. They all paused because they had never seen a deer before.
“When can we take a break?,“ complained Cloud.
“Yeah, my wings are getting tired and I can barely see,” said Sky
“Ok, ok we’ll stay here for the night,” said Buddy
They settled down in a little tangle of trees. Once the other two were sound asleep Buddy quietly got up and went for a little walk. He was nervous that he made a mistake and should have just stayed home with the other two and Mrs. Hollan. He thought maybe, just maybe, their family would come back for them. As he was walking he heard leaves crunching behind him. He turned to look behind him, and he could just barely make out a large, black figure. As it came closer he realized it was a black bear cub. Buddy slowly backed up, hoping the bear hadn’t seen him. As he was backing up a gust of wind blew towards the bear and he got a whiff of Buddy’s sent. The bear started to walk in Buddy’s direction and Buddy took off, hoping to make it back to the others before the bear did. He finally got back to the others and woke them up promptly.
“GET UP, GET UP, THERE IS A BEAR!!!” As the other two scrambled up, the bear reached the campsite. The bear stood up and was as tall as a tree. It looked at them and took one big swat at them.
“LOOK OUT,” screamed Sky. When they were attacked, Buddy calmly panicked. Buddy ran up to the bear and started barking at it. The bear was not sure what to think of this and ran off. To make matters worse it started to rain.
“It’s raining cats and fish,” said Sky.
“Where did you go Buddy?,” asked Cloud once everything settled down.
“I went for a little walk. I couldn’t fall asleep”. They all got silent; after a couple of minutes of silence they tried to go back to sleep.
The next morning was a cold and wet morning.
“Come on, rise and shine sleepy heads,” Buddy said, as he went over to the others and shook them awake.
“I’m too cold to move,” said Cloud, “I have to wait for the sun to warm me up more.”
“There is no time. Here, ride on my back,” said Buddy.
“My wings are soaked, and I can’t fly,” said Sky.
“Ugh fine, fine, fine, ride on my back too.” As they walked further and further the sun started to rise up and it lit up the whole forest. There was nothing, just silence. It smelled like fresh rainfall and sweet flowers.
“Wow, it’s magical,” said Sky as the sun made the forest sparkle from the water drops that had landed on the leaves the night before.
“How are we going to get out of here?,” asked Cloud.
”Sky, could you fly up and see where the road is?,” asked Buddy.
“I don’t think so, I’ve never flown that high before,” replied Sky.
“Oh, come on,” encouraged Cloud, “you’ve got this.”
“I don’t know, I’ve never tried.”
“Please Sky, it’s the only way to get out of here,” Buddy pleaded.
“I’ll try, but I can’t promise anything.”
“The bird that was afraid to fly,” giggled Buddy
“Oh shut up, I’ll do it, I’ll do it.”
Sky started to flap her wings rapidly, but only got a couple feet of the ground. As Sky kept trying she thought to herself you can do this, come on, don’t give up. She tried and tried, but couldn’t get much higher than three feet up.
“Try giving me a boost,” said Sky as she climbed onto Buddy’s back.
“One…. two…. THREE!!,” Buddy gave Sky a boost up halfway to the first branch. Sky was then had to fly the rest of the way up.
“I did it, I did it.”
“One day a bird landed on a tree, and she decided to branch out,” joked Buddy.
“Oh you, just pipe down.”
Sky was ably to get on top of the tree and see the road a few miles away. Once she came down she started to lead them out of the forest. After walking a couple miles they came to a creek that looked as big as the Grand Canyon, and was moving quite fast from the rain the night before. They stood there at the creek for some time trying to decide how to cross it. They were all too light to swim through it, but they couldn’t jump it, and they couldn’t go around it.
As they were thinking, Cloud went over to a branch and shouted over, “Hey, let’s use this.”
They all worked together to pull the branch over to the edge of the creek, they all pushed it down the little slope at the creek till it reached the other side. They very carefully walked across the branch. Once they walked a little way from the creek and could no longer hear it they noticed a different sound.
“CARS!!,” they all shouted running towards the noise.
After about five minutes of running they finally reached the road.
“Now, how do we get home?,” they all asked. Sky tried to get onto another tree again, but these branches were a lot higher than the other ones. They decided to go against the creek they had encountered earlier that day, hoping that would take them in the direction of their house. As they were walking, Cloud started to shake again.
“I don’t feel good, I’m so cold.”
“Do you want to try walking to warm yourself up?,” asked Buddy
“No, I don’t have the strength to walk.”
“Well, you have to do something to warm yourself up before you get frostbite.”
“I’ll be fine...”
As they walked down the road Cloud got more and more cold, but she didn’t tell the others because she didn’t want them to fuss over her. Buddy would look over his shoulder to see her laying down on his back and he could feel her shivering, but he didn’t want to bother her and make her upset. All of the sudden Cloud could feel cold blood rush through her body; she was slowly getting frostbite. She started feeling numb and couldn't move. She tried to shiver, but it didn’t work; she was too tired. She started sliding off of Buddy’s back.
“Cloud!!,” shouted Buddy.
“I’m so cold.”
“I told you, you should have done something to warm yourself up.”
“Save your breath, I know.”
“We have to get you somewhere warm!!,” said Sky.
”Don’t bother, I've waited too long anyway.”
“No, Cloud, don't talk like that. You're like a sister to me, I can’t lose you.”
“It’s okay Sky, I knew I wouldn't make it. Why do you think I kept saying to go back?!”
“Why didn't you say anything!!!?”
“I didn’t want to make you worry.”
“We would have make sure you stayed warm, or come back for you once we found the house, or not even go at all if we knew this would have happened!!!”
“But see, you would have worried and something would have happen to you because you wouldn't be thinking about finding our family, you would be distracted by my health.”
“Cloud, stop with this nonsense, you are going to make it,” said Buddy.
“No I won’t Buddy, even now I can feel the coldness seeping into my bones.”
“N-no y-you can’t leave me!!!,” cried Sky.
“Don't miss me too much,” said Cloud, as she laid her head down on Buddy’s paw.
Sky stood there in silence, then went over to Cloud and laid next to her. Buddy was in shock he couldn’t move.
If only I had been nicer to her thought Buddy. They buried Cloud and stood in silence for some time. “We need to get going, it looks like a storm is coming in,” said Buddy.
As they were walking Buddy could still feel Cloud’s head on his paw. They kept walking down the road for a while, but they had to get off the road every so often for a car to pass. As Buddy said, a storm came. It rained hard for 2 hours. Sky clung onto Buddy and buried herself in his fur to stay warm. As the rain started to die down they could hear a car coming down the road. Buddy stepped off to let them pass, but when he looked at the car they saw it was their family. Buddy ran after the car, barking hysterically. They followed the car all the way home.
Once home, Buddy and Sky ran up to the car door and Buddy started barking, the door flung open and out jumped Cara and Oliver. Cara immediately picked up Buddy and hugged him.
“Why were you outside?!!” asked Mr. Collot
Mrs. Hollan came running out of the house shouting “Mr. Collot thank god you’re home Buddy, Sky, and Cloud have disappeared!!!”
“What nonsense are you talking about Mrs. Hollan? Buddy, and Sky are right here” said Mrs. Collot
“Wait you said Cloud was gone too?” asked Oliver
“Y-yes all three of them were gone when i came back the next day to check on them.”
“You mean they’ve been gone the whole time we’ve been away!?” said Mr. Collot, in shock
“Why didn't you call?”
“I didn't want to bother you on your vacation, and i figured they would show up after a little while.”
“Well next time call us as soon as they go missing.”
“Ok I will, I promise.”
“Wait but where is Cloud?!!” said Oliver
Buddy and Sky looked at each other than Buddy barked at Cara then looked at the car. Cara looked at him, Buddy went over to the road and looked back at Cara. “I think he wants up to follow him” she said. They all got into the car and followed Buddy (with Sky on his back) down the road. Eventually they got to where buddy and Sky had Buried Cloud. Oliver jumped out of the car first, and ran over to where buddy and Sky were standing. Buddy put him nose to the burial site. Oliver gently pulled back the dirt and found Cloud rolled up in leaves. “Oh… I see what he wanted to show us” he said. The others ran over to see what it was, and they all sank to the ground. Cara ran to the car and pulled out her new jewelry box and ran back to Oliver.
“Here use this ”
“But you just got that ”
“I know but i can get a new one ”
“Are you sure?”
“yes , I’m sure”
Oliver took the box and gently laid Cloud inside it. Once he finished, they got into the car and drove back home. Once home Oliver prepared a burial for Cloud and laid the box in it. Cara came over with a note and put it on Cloud’s grave, it read:
We wilL miSs yOu dEArly, i hOpE yOu kNOw yOu wErE A lOved mEmbEr Of thE fAmily. OlivEr wilL miSs yOu lOts (i kNOw hE wiLL). I hOpE yOu hAvE fuN iN hEvAN.
Oliver read the note and giggled a little, “thank you Cara” he said. They unpacked the car, and went inside to get dried off and agreed that they would not go on anymore vacations till Buddy was older.