“…nine, ten! Ready or not, here I come!” Janey laughed, and scanned the grove of trees for her friend.

Emma covered her mouth to keep from laughing and crouched low to the ground behind the tree. She’d picked the tree because it wasn’t very cute—kind of like a slug with arms. She thought it might want to be included in their game of hide-and-seek.

“Oh, I bet I know where you are!” Janey cried.

Emma peeked around the trunk. Janey was coming her way.

Quick as a flash, Emma jumped to the front of the tree and shouted in her best deep, menacing tree voice, “Argh!”

Janey shrieked.

Emma laughed.

A sudden wind rushed through the grove.

Behind them, the tree creaked.

Both girls turned. They gazed up at the tree.


Emma and Janey looked at each other with wide eyes. Janey took Emma’s hand, and they ran all the way home.





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