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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Ian & Mac Stories - Echo Canyon

Mac was busy playing with little Molly. The two raccoons had volunteered to baby-sit her for several hours. Ian went off to find some berries and nuts for them to have as a snack. "Iíll be back in a little while," he called to the others. "Iím off to find some berries for Molly."

Mac nodded his head. Molly waved goodbye and Ian ran off into the woods. There werenít many berries around. Ian searched and searched but couldnít find any. "Thatís odd. Where are all the berries?" he wondered. He decided to go further up the glen. Maybe there were some there. He walked and walked and soon found himself in a canyon, with steep, sloping walls on three sides. "This is cool," he said, looking around. He noticed some bushes up ahead. "Wow, berries!" He started picking them, but instead of saving them for the others, he ate them all. His mouth, fingers and fur were covered with berry juice. "Ooops!" he said, realizing heíd finished the lot off.

As he was walking out of the canyon, he tripped on a rock and fell. "OUCH!" he shouted.

"OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! Ouch! ouch!" A string of ouchís came echoing back to him, getting softer and finally ending.

"Who was that?" he asked.

"Did someone else say ouch? Mac, is that you? Molly?" he questioned.

Nobody answered. "Hello!" he called.

"HELLO! HELLO! HELlo! Hello! hello!" came rolling back to him.

"What is going on here? Was that me?" He scratched his head with confusion. "Is this Ian?" he shouted.

"IS THIS IAN? IS THIS Ian? IS This Ian? Is this Ian?" was the answer.

"Itís me! Itís my echo! How fun!" he laughed. He spent the next hour shouting things, only to hear his echo over and over again.

He sat down on a rock to rest. It was rather warm. He remembered Mac and Molly back in the woods and how they were waiting for him to bring back some berries and nuts. "Just one more shout," he giggled.

But before he could open his mouth he heard, "IAN! WHERE ARE THE BERRIES? IAN! WHERE ARE THE berries? IAN! WHERE ARE the berries! IAN! Where are the berries?"

He started laughing. "Hey! I didnít even open my mouth that time!"

Just then someone tapped him on the shoulder. "Ian! Where are the berries?" It was Mac, with Molly holding his hand. "We sent you out to find food for the wee one here and all you can do is listen to your echo?" Mac looked at Ianís face and hands. "I see! Youíve eaten all the berries for yourself, have you?"

"Well, IÖ.IÖwellÖ," was all Ian could mumble.

"WAAH! WAAH! WAAH! WAAH!" cried Molly. "I want berries! Iím hungry!"

"WAAH! WAAH! WAAH!" echoed back. This caught Molly by surprise. "What was that? Was that me?" she said, wiping her tears away.

"Yes, Molly. It is your echo, but itís very loud. Letís go back to the woods. Ian is going to go and find you some berries, arenít you Ian?" Mac said, sternly.

"Why, sure I am. Iíll be there shortly," he said.

Mac took Molly and headed home. Ian, feeling bad, headed off to find some more berries. "GOODBYE!" he shouted, unable to resist one last time.

"GOODBYE! GOODBYE! GOODbye! Goodbye! Goodbye!" Soon he heard nothing. Shrugging his shoulders, he ran off to find the berries.

An hour later, Ian came walking back to the tree. "There he is," Mac said. Molly ran up to him and took the berries out of his hand. She popped them in her mouth, hungrily.

"I hope your happy, Ian. Poor wee thingís been starving for hours." He gave Ian a disappointed look.

"Sorry, Mac. Sorry, Molly. I was having too much fun in the canyon. It wonít happen again," he apologized.

Shortly after that, Mollyís mum came to collect her. "Thanks, lads, for watching wee Molly," she said and left with her baby.

Ian went up into the tree and fell asleep, feeling bad about what heíd done. Mac, seeing that Ian was snoring, ran quickly down the path. "IíM HERE! IíM HERE! IíM HERE!" his voice echoed. Mac snickered, hoping Ian would never find him there. Hee hee hee!

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