Peace and quiet. I enjoyed it.
Travelling up high in the canopy was better than on the ground. For a start, you could see where you were heading. On the ground there were huge rocks everywhere, some so big that you could see over them. Up here it I could see a bird’s eye view. It was much easier. And also, it didn’t require as much energy. The branches were thick and strong that Spike and I could just walk on them like it was a flat footpath. On the ground you had to climb over the boulders, and trust me, it was really tiering after a while.
But the best part about travelling in the trees was there was no quicksand. My experience with it earlier in the day wasn’t much fun and I certainly didn’t want to go through that again. Not to mention, it slowed us down.
There didn’t seem to be too many threats or dangers in the canopy. The main one was falling off, but we had already gone a long way without falling off. And just in case we did fall, there was always a tangle of vines and branches to catch us, which acted a bit like a safety net.1
As we kept walking, I started to wonder about Robyn and Dad. I knew that they wouldn’t be doing anything right now, well, because their world was frozen, thanks to Lord Arthur. But what would they usually be doing now?2
Let’s see, I thought to myself. It’s around ten, so Dad would probably be outside, maybe spraying the crops, or fixing that broken fence that the cows knocked over. Or maybe he’s bagging up the fruit, ready for Robyn to sell at the markets on Saturday. Robyn would probably be doing some housework, or maybe baking a cake and some muffins. Maybe she might be sorting out my schoolwork for the week, or doing one of her many craft hobbies.
Thinking about Dad and Robyn made me feel better, and less homesick. I didn’t want to feel like crap during this journey. Plus, it kept my minding busy for the hours of walking.
‘Now,’ I said aloud to Spike. ‘What would I be doing right now?’
Even though it was a school day, I might not have been doing school work with Robyn (since I was homeschooled and she was my teacher) right now. I only had to do about 4 hours of school a day, but when I would do them depended. If the weather was nice and sunny outside, then I would probably go and help on the farm somehow; collect the eggs from the chicken coop, pick the flowers from Robyn’s garden (she had a beautiful one) to sell at the markets, or maybe help Dad with bagging the fruit. A lot of the jobs I did were simple and easy, but it saved Dad or Robyn from having to do them, when they had their day’s work to do. I enjoyed going on bushwalks, so Spike and I, and maybe a friend or visitor, would go on one. If it were a rainy day, then I would go on the computer, watch a movie, maybe reading a book or do some drawing, or play a card game with Robyn. I usually spilt up my hours of schoolwork and do some in the morning, some and lunch, and the rest in the late afternoon and evening. It was really good being able to do that because if I needed to, I could swap the around to suit my plans, and I could organise outings and activities well too. Plus, having the hours spilt up gave me a break every now and then.3
Of course, being homeschooled did have some negative points. For a start, you didn’t have as many friends. Luckily, I did have two friends, Tanya and Mitchell (but we’d just called him Mitch), who lived down the road from me. They were pretty special to me because they had the same interests as me, lived on farms just like me and were the same age as me. It wasn’t often you’d find people like that. Because I didn’t go to the local school together, Robyn often invited them and their parents (usually their mum’s) over. Robyn was good friends with Tanya’s and Mitch's mums’, and they would all work at the markets together on Saturdays. The markets were basically was our town’s shopping and selling day. All the farmers would set up their stalls, and everyone would come and buy things. It was good because all the produce in our little community was grown in our little community, and most people bought all their groceries at the Saturday markets or at the Harvey’s General Store, which also sold local produce.4
At the markets, and also to the general store, Robyn would sell fruit, Tanya’s mum Carol would sell Sheep’s wool products (things like slippers, rugs and jackets) because they farmed sheep, and Mitch’s mum Megan had a flower farm, so she would sell flowers, as well as handmade greeting cards and gifts. Mitch and I loved to take photography, so we’d take photos of things and occasionally Mitch and I got our photos on the front of Megan’s cards.
The other downside to being homeschooled was I didn’t get many opportunities. Occasionally I would get one in the mail, for English or Art (the two subjects I went very well in), but that was about it. The rest of the opportunities I received thanks the internet, which were usually because of my hobbies. I didn’t get to go on excursions and school camps like Mitch and Tanya did. But, hey, you can’t have it both ways.5
I was so caught up in my day dream and memories that I had almost forgotten what I was doing. Spike barked to get my attention, and I quickly snapped out of it. I looked around to see what the treat might have been. There wasn’t any animals, which wasn’t a surprise since the only one I had seen so far on the journey was Spike. Then I looked down in front of me.6
Violently splashing about, destroying everything in its path, were cold and dangerous rapids, leading to something vey terrifying but spectacular at the same time; an enormously tall waterfall.7