The Fort This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   My best friend, Danny, and I were bored one hotsummer day and decided to build a fort in the woods. We were excitedabout the idea and secretly took some of my dad's tools from hisworkbench. Our first idea was to make the fort out of pine boughs, butwe decided to make it strong enough to last the summer. We found foursmall maple trees in a rectangle for the foundation and worked on thefort for a month. After the maple stick-studding was secure, we put pineboughs between them to make the walls. When we were half done, my twobrothers helped make the roof. We stepped back to admire our hard work.The fort measured 12 by 10 feet and the walls were six feet high! Insideit was almost spooky because it was dark, even in the middle of the day.

Danny and I decided to camp at our fort for an entire weekend.It took an afternoon to carry all our gear, water and food the quarterof a mile up the hill. We built a campfire and improvised chairs aroundit. It turned out to be a beautiful night with a full moon so that thewoods were bright and we could see our shadows.

We roasted hotdogs, made s'mores and drank cream soda until we thought we'd burst. Wedidn't head to our sleeping bags until well after midnight. We wereawakened by the most terrifying sound. The howls of coyotes in the woodsparalyzed us. Then we heard twigs snapping and something snorting. Itsounded much too close. I don't remember how we managed to get out ofthe fort, but the next thing I knew we were running through the trees inour bare feet. Danny was screaming and got way ahead of me. I stoppedand turned around in time to see my heifer trample our fort tosmithereens.

I met Danny at my porch; we went inside andcollapsed in the living room for the rest of the night. Early the nextmorning we ran back up the hill. The cow was nowhere to be seen, but itwas obvious where she had been. The fort was leveled, the roof and wallstrampled into our pillow and sleeping bags. What a mess! We spent aneternity finding our flashlights and my dad's tools, but we managed toclean and return them.

Danny and I tried to rebuild the fort in adifferent location but we never finished. We look back on our adventureand laugh, but we will never again attempt to sleep that deep in thewoods.




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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