#153: Apfelbaum - 2009-07-23
After much walking by an unknown and unfriendly forest, hunger became a serious worry. More so for Eliana, the smallest and weakest in the group, who still suffered the sequels of her strike against her mother during last Spring. They knew little about the many edible plants that, if one looks with a keen eye, are rather easy to find in the forest of central and southern Chile.
However, Eliana was more worried about her siblings, used to eating in larger amounts than most of their friends, to consume a number of calories that they daily spent on their games and activities. She knew that Rosa had a lot of patience and that she could remain calm on the face of hunger, and that Hugo and Pedro both lacked that virtue. Instead, they were rather difficult to work with when their stomach is empty...
So, Eliana tried to deviate their attention away from hunger so they could keep walking, talking to them mostly about scientific and technological topics that she studied during her visits to the library.
Then, Rosa noticed something interesting to a distance:
- Kids! There's an apple tree in the middle of the road!
- Oh, you scared me! - jumped Eliana, immediately forgetting what she was talking about.
- Let's go!
And without thinking about it twice, Rosa ran towards the tree and climbed it swiftly, like a squirrel. That tall tree was growing in the middle of this natural path of humid, fertile ground, far from anyone's private property. And it was full of juicy fruits that were ready for whoever wished to recollect them... And Rosa threatened to eat them all so Eliana followed her, reaching the top of the tree with a single jump.
- Girls! Wait!
The girls were now over the tree, choosing between the fruits. Hugo and Pedro were left behind, astonished by the girls' reaction. They reach the tree's shadow, but they're more tired than their sisters (more so Pedro, who had a hard battle some hours ago), so they couldn't climb. Pedro, enraged because of this, took some impulse in order of giving the tree a fierce kick, and all its content fell down, girls included...
- Pedro! What did you do! - Rosa complained.
- All these apples thrown to the ground! - Eliana added.
- Well done, Pedro! This is great! - Hugo supported.
- You shouldn't have done this. - Eliana scolded Pedro - Why didn't you climb instead?
- Climb? After all that these damned dogs did to me?
- I know that...
- You don't know anything, because all they did to you was to pull your hair! On the other hand, they left me all bitten over!
- But Rosa was also bitten, and she climbed nonetheless! And my, she was bitten a lot!
Rosa didn't have time to correct her sister, to tell her that the dogs didn't touch her...
- And she's NOT complaining!
- Oh, that's right! - Hugo said - And we keep calling her a "crybaby"! ... However, the dogs didn't touch you, Eliana.
- But I still climbed.
- Big deal.
- The dogs didn't touch Rosa - Pedro corrected - There were like fifty animals around her and they were just staring like one would stare to a monument... What's true is that they licked her a lot... and I scampered them all!
Rosa couldn't but assent with her head, while she cleaned yet another apple.
- No, I could see a dog that nailed his teeth on a leg... [...]
- Oh, Hugo, that was a bitch. A very hungry one. I think she was the alpha-female of the pack and, as she was keen to recognize top-quality meat, she wanted to give her the first bite... That's why no dog bit you, Hugo! They might be dogs but they won't eat any muck!
- And only a few were interested in Eliana, because all they could do with her was a teacup of soup!
- Har har, Pedro. And those who attacked you, those weren't quite careful, because with all that fat... Maybe they wanted to make chicharrones with you! Hahahahaha...
- Fat! What are you talking about? This, what you see here, sister, is 100% pure muscle, first class, so don't spew nonsense... Also, I'm not an easy prey for any amount of dogs. If one jumps over me, I turn him into steak!
- Yeah, right...
- What do you mean with "yeah, right"? I was the one who saved everyone! I was the one who beat all these dogs! I'm the champion! And that, you will never deny it!
- Well, that's right. But you say you're not easy prey, given the speed in which you could escape...
- And you? You could never withstand a fight against one of these alone! But it's easier for you to escape! Right?
- Don't think so. I took a branch and hit many of these dogs too...
- I believe you... It was very funny, that scene of you with that little stick and below the doberman... Ha ha ha ha!
- Yeah, I know I can't compare myself with you on fighting ability, but I didn't have it easy... Look at this bite I got at the waist.
- Oh, yeah, the chihuahua dog! Ha, ha, ha, ha...!
- Well, yeah... the chihuahua dog that was dragging me by my hair... - Eliana lowered her head, ashamed - ... it's okay, you win. Now, Hugo wasn't touched at all...
- Right! And he was crying repeatedly that the dog, the dog and the dog... Hugo, did they bite you?
- Yeah! Look at what they did with my jeans these damned ones! Look!
- But just the jeans! And? Any combat wound? Where? Because these weeps must have been justified somehow. Let us see...
Hugo pulled up a leg from his jeans, and showed what at that hour was just a very slight mark.
- Owwie, you almost had your leg cut into little pieces and become crippled...! Ha, ha, ha! I don't think this one prevented you to climb the tree!
- And why for? So someone whose name I won't pronounce, who also climbed and is now eating apples like a fool, comes crying, complaining and yelling to me? Don't climb the trees because you destroy the branches, trees are life and...! Eh, mother Beatrice, who preaches but doesn't practices! Who am I talking about? Where did her beautiful green feelings that...?