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A Trip to Jungle
Tim Ereneta

A couple of weeks ago John and I went to the jungle. It was an exciting trip. Let me tell you about it.

One day John and I decided to go to the jungle. We packed all our equipment and went to the airport the following day.

When we got to the airport we bought some magazines to read on the way to the jungle. Just then a voice on the loud speaker said "Jungle Flight leaves in fifteen minutes at gate 23."

We hurried over to gate 23 and got into the plane. Later, when I was done reading my magazines I fell asleep.

I woke up a few hours later and looked out the window. "We're flying over the jungle now." I said to John. Just then, the stewardess said "Fasten your seat belt we will be landing shortly."

When we get off the plane we went to a cafeteria and had a snack. Then, after that we called a cab and went to the edge of the jungle. Then, after we paid the driver we walked about half a mile into the jungle and set up camp in a small clearing.

After camp was set up we started to cook dinner. The stuff was called "Tuna al la king." It tasted liked soggy raisin bran (Which I hate) with apricot jam on it (yucc) but it looked like pink aluminum foil.

After dinner we talked a while about all sorts of things. Then, about eight o'clock we went to bed.

Next morning we got up early and cooked some oatmeal for breakfast. It didn't taste too bad but "Froot Loops" taste better. After breakfast we packed some equipment to go on a hike. We took things like binoculars, first and second aid kit, butterly net, canteen, shovel, squirt gun, flare gun, cap gun, swiss knife, machete, teddy bear, camera, and a few other things. We started the hike about nine o'clock A.M.

At about nine thirty we found a cave. I shot some water from my squirt gun into the cave. Nothing happened. John threw a water balloon in to the cave. We heard it splash on the ground. Then, a whole bunch of vampire bats flew out of the cave! We ran as fast as we could away from the cave.

We ran right into another cave. We sat down on some fur. The fur growled. I turned on my flashlight and shone on the fur. We had been sitting on a six-foot tall gorilla. A SIX-FOOT TALL GORILLA!!! We ran as fast as we could away from the cave with the gorilla at our heels. John ran up a tree. I dived into the bushes. The gorilla looked for us but he gave up when he could not find us.

John climbed down the tree and when he saw me in a big pit he laughed. "How was I to know there was a gorilla trap behind the bushes?" I said. We went back to camp and rested.

For lunch we had fried frog legs and crayfish. It tasted o.k. but I think fried hot dogs are better.

After lunch we walked to town, and we bought some postcards and souvenirs. We walked around the town and looked at the shops that were interesting. We ate at a restaurant called "Joe's Diner." We had pizza and salad to eat. It tasted delicious.

After dinner we went back to camp and looked at the stars with our telescope. About nine o'clock A.M. we went to bed.

The next few days we didn't do much. We went to town one day, and one day we found a lake and swam in it. Three days after our encounter with the gorilla, we found an orphaned baby monkey. We named him Tarzan. He likes to eat bananas, but his favorite is pineapple sauce. Tarzan is funny when he swings on the branches of the trees. Two weeks after we got to the jungle we tranquilized Tarzan and brought to where we found him. There we set him down by a rock and put a plate of food by him. Then we went to the airport (we had packed earlier) and went to the helicopter landing area. We got into the helicopter and took off for home. Over the ocean the helicopter we ran out of gas. We had to parachute. We landed on a dolphin who took us to the beach. We called a taxi and went home.


This piece was written in 1977, as a class assignment, either for Mrs. Willis or Mrs. Fitzpatrick. I seem to recall it was a collaboration with Laurie Kenny. Either she wrote her own similar story, or we co-wrote it but when it came time to type it up, I didn't include her name. The original manuscript was illustrated with photos clipped from Ranger Rick and National Geographic magazines. The name John was most likely chosen at random, as classmate John Poncini and I were not that close.

While the story ignores the conventions of biogeography (vampire bats and gorillas don't appear on the same continent), narrative structure (no clear objective or rising action, introduction of trouble in the last paragraph), and character development (the narrator's personality is limited to a preference for certain foods and a sentimental attachment to a monkey), we do see the 10-year-old author's eye for detail and a nascent sense of slapstick.

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