"Be careful, Tom! Mom said the creek could still be high."
"I'm not afraid of no creek, even if it is high. You ain't afraid, are you, Sam?"
"Only dummies say ain't."
"Hey! I'm telling Mom you called me a dummy!"
"I told you only dummies say ain't. Ask her if that isn't true."
"Who cares? You're afraid of the creek!"
"The water gets deep enough, it could even knock Dad off his feet."
"Yeah? Wow! Hey, wait a minute! First you said it was high, then you said it was deep. Which one is it, Sam?"
"Ummm.... You know when it's nighttime, how it can be late or it can be dark?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"It's kind of like that. When the creek floods it can be two things at once. It can be high, and it can be deep."
"Gee... words are confusing, sometimes, ai... aren't they? Wow! Look!"
"The bridge is gone! Or maybe that's part of it, down there."
"But how will we get across?"
"We can't right now, that's for sure."
"You're such a smarty pants. You always think you know everything, just 'cause you're a little older."
"Well, we can't, Squirt!"
"Yes, we can! Look, a tree's down, right across the creek."
"We walk across it, that's what."
"Tom, it's not very big. And the ends are just laying on the banks. What if... Wait!"
"Watch this! Whoa! Sam, it's moving! I'm scared!"
"Tom! Are you okay? .... Tommy!?"
"I told you not to call me Tommy, smarty pants?"
"Well, why didn't you answer me, Squirt?"
"I was trying to scare you. You should have seen your face!"
"See ya later, Squirt!"
"Hey! Wait! Wait! I'm sorry!"
"What do you want?"
"I'm stuck over here, Sam! You'll come and get me, won't you?"
"Why would I do a stupid thing like that? I'm bigger than you are, remember?"
"Yeah, so you're supposed to take care of me. Mom said!"
"Listen, Tom, that thing bent when you were on it. What do you think it would do if I tried to walk across it?"
"I don't care! You weren't supposed to let me. What's Mom going to say?"
"Ohhh... wait a minute, you little brat!"
"I'm telling Mom you called me a brat!"
"Tell her that, and I'll tell her why. I told you not to, but you ran out before I could stop you."
"Oh, forget it!"
"Thought so. Okay, here I come. I don't know how we're both going to..."
"Sam!? .... Sam, are you okay? .... Get up, Sam! .... Hey, come on, get up, Sam! It's not funny! .... I know you're just trying to scare me, like I did. .... The water's pullin' at your legs, Sam! .... Sam? Oh, Sam, c'mon, please, get up. I promise I won't ever give you any more trouble, ever again. .... I'll even let you have my fighter plane, the one I got for my birthday. C'mon, Sam! .... HEY! OH, HEY, MISTER DUNPHY! OVER HERE, BY THE CREEK! HELP! HELP!"
"What's the matter... oh, my... is that Sam down there?"
"Yes, oh yes, please, Mister Dunphy, can you make him get up?"
"I'll go call the rescue squad, then I'll come back to stay with you until they come."
"Mister Dunphy! Are they coming? The water's already starting to pull him in!"
"They're on their way, Tommy. They should be here any minute."
"Oh, but Mister Dunphy, it's all my fault. I... What are you doing?"
"I think I can just reach him with this branch. I've got to try to keep him from being washed away."
"It's okay, Tommy. The rescue squad will do everything they can for him. Look, here they come!"
"Mom! What did the doctor say? Is Sam going to be okay?"
"He's got a couple of broken bones, and he hurt his head, but they said it could have been worse. They think he's going to be all right."
"Is he coming home with us?"
"Not yet, Tommy. Do you want to see him? We can go in, just for a few minutes."
"Come along, then."
"Wow, Sam, you look just like The Mummy! How'd you get them to give you all those bandages?"
"Don't worry about it, Mom. He can't help being a little Squirt."
"Calm down, Thomas. Sam isn't supposed to get excited."
"So I look like The Mummy, huh?"
"Yeah. You should see yourself."
"I'll get a chance later, I guess. I just... I don't remember much after I fell, but..."
"Can you remember anything?"
"Not really. It doesn't matter, I guess."
"We'd better go, Tom. We don't want to wear Sam out. Goodbye, Sam."
"Hey, Mom, when we get home, since Sam's not gonna be there, can I eat his piece of pie for him?"
This story was written for the March Creative Carnival over at Write Stuff, and for their contest. The winning entry last month was an excellent story, so why don't you go on over and check out the other entries?