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If They Only Knew This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Eeeww! There's a bug on the ceiling! Somebody get it!" at 11:30 p.m.

Oh, great, I thought as I sat up in bed. Nowwhat do I do? I hate big bugs too! Counselors are supposed to be superheroes, notinstinctively jump on their beds to escape. Okay, Bridget, be calm, I toldmyself. For heaven's sake, be a leader, not a wimp. Please God, let this cabinsurvive!

Every week at camp has its interesting moments, and this justhappened to be one of them. The week had started out rocky. When ten strangersare thrust into a cabin, things can get hairy in a hurry, and my job as acounselor is to transform them into a family. So far, my co-counselor, Jenny, andI were having a rough time. Many of the campers had come with a friend and werenow joined at the hip, afraid to venture into the unknown territory of newfriendships. I hoped that maybe a late-night adventure would help changethat.

"Quiet!" Jenny yelled over the din. "Everyone calmdown!"

"But there's a bug up there!"

"I know,just quiet down. I'll get the broom, and we'll chase it out the door." Yougo girl, I thought. Now I knew what I could do. While Jenny was acting the roleof exterminator, I would calm the minions.

Chasing the beetle out the doorwas a good idea in theory, but the bug had a mind of its own. It dropped to thefloor, sending the girls into another round of hysterics.

Amid the din, avoice suggested that we name the bug. Ideas started flying through the air.Finally, we decided on Francine. Yeah! I thought. That simple idea turned thecalamity into a game. Now laughter mingled with the cries of fright, involvingthe whole cabin and making Jenny and me wonder if we were overdoing this a bit.The night watchman was sure to chastise us for keeping the whole campawake.

To make matters worse, Francine disappeared. We had not an inklingof her whereabouts. Eyes widened, and voices dropped from loud cries to franticwhispers.

"Where did she go?"

"What if she's in mysleeping bag?" someone wondered. Everyone screamed at this horrid idea andcrowded to the middle of the floor.

"Francine won't get into yoursleeping bags, girls, she's too little," I tried to assure them. I don'tthink they believed me.

Soon the Great Houdini was discovered underJenny's bed, and the cabin erupted into screams once more. Thudding noises wereheard as Jenny gallantly tried to overpower the bug with the broom handle.

"Ew! I heard a crunch!" someone claimed. A collection of"Ew" "Gross" and "That's disgusting" combined witha sense of relief to calm us. Jenny reached under the bed with the broom to sweepFrancine out the door, but alas, she was an old die-hard. Literally. A renewedchorus of screams mingled with gasps of astonishment as some of the girls beginto see the hilarity in the situation.

"Whap!" The broom camedown again and again on the flailing Francine. Finally, she was dead ... or so wethought.

As we put her in a little wooden box lined with tissue, shegave a twitch. The box dropped with a thud, and tissue and bug catapulted out.Another whap with the broom, and it was all over. Then we heard a knock on thedoor.

It was Justin, the night watchman, coming to see what was causingthe ruckus. The girls, now laughing hysterically, showed off Francine andproceeded to tell poor overwhelmed Justin all about it. We got off easy, with awarning that if the lights weren't out in five minutes, he would be back withchores for us to do.

We quickly jumped into the security of our sleepingbags, but not before setting the box, lid latched tight, in the middle of thefloor. The next morning, we gave her a grand burial, one any bug would be proudof. The whole cabin marched down to the lake, and with a rousing rendition of"Taps," the box was rid of Francine.

The adventure did serve tounite the cabin, as I had hoped. My insecurities about my ability to counseljunior-high girls melted with the questioning stares of onlookers as the funeralprocession marched down to the lake. The girls in the cabin got alongwonderfully, having the common bond of Francine. The rest of the week wentsmoothly, with only a few questions by staff as to who was making "all thatracket" at midnight.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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