The Adventurer: Staff of Emperors – A Fan Fiction Sequel – Part 3

I’m sorry it’s been so long between these posts, but the holidays came up and the school year started all over again. On top of all that, I forgot. Oops! But I’m back now with part 3, the first portion of the fan fiction that’s not a prologue.

I hope you enjoy:


London, 1885

A postman approached the door of a rather exquisite house. From within he could hear the quiet sound of an inexperienced piano learner attempting to play a small composition.

The door opened and a rather stout woman frowned down at him. The postman held out a package to her, doffing his hat out of respect.

“Package for a misters Mariah and Felix Mundhi,” he said in a thick accent.

Her lips twisted as she took it from him, closing the door and bobbing into the sitting room. Felix Mundhi, the younger of the two boys, looked up, his thin face peaked with curiosity. He was so much like their dear mother, she sniffed to herself. She passed, approaching the eldest Mundhi. Also like his mother, Mariah had the same dark eyes that could at turns become deathly serious or light with an amused glow. And, like his handsome father before him, he had the same chin and smile. A pity about the Mundhis. Such kind, genteel folk. And professors of Oxford too!

“Package, sir,” she said, holding it out.

He turned, removing his gaze from the paper in his hand.

“Thank you,” he smiled politely, taking the long, thin box.

Felix waited until the housekeeper had left to jump up.

“What is it, Mariah?” He asked.

The older brother shook his head by way of answer. The girl at the piano, Sacha, looked up, a small smile flitting across her face.

“Well, why don’t you open it and find out?” She asked, her tone teasing.

He smiled back, removing a small card tied to the brown paper.

       For my trustworthy compatriots, keep this guarded at all costs. Don’t let anyone know of its existence until you hear from me. 


The smile on Mariah’s face gave way to a curious expression as the words died on his lips. Sacha looked up from where she’d moved to stand to his right. Felix, at his left, wore the same expression as his brother.

He tore the brown paper with clumsy hands, eager to see what lay beneath. Felix helped, tearing at the bottom and Sacha reaching for the ribbon at the top. Soon they had pulled all of the packaging paper off, revealing a rather strange looking object, a scepter of some kind.

“What is it?” Felix asked.

Sacha looked up at Mariah, whose gaze was fixed on the golden sheen.



He could feel it radiating from the staff, almost palpable, as if he could reach out and grasp it.


He shook his head free, lowering the scepter. “Sorry, I”…

At that moment, there was an urgent knocking on the door. Mrs. Prewitt, her ever present scowl locked on, approached the door. Will stepped into the house.

“Hullo, did I miss anything?” He called cheerfully. His gaze landed on the scepter and the brown paper that had been hastily torn and strewn on the floor. “Ah. I see you got my package then.”

Mariah put the staff on top of the piano, stepping forward to shake hands with his friend. Will’s impish grin was enthusiastic as he looked at Mariah. Charity had had that sort of look the first time they’d met, before he’d dropped to the boy’s feet from a wound. That day had led to an extraordinary turn of events: their parents going missing, Felix’s capture by a power-hungry hotel owner, Sacha and Mariah’s investigation of a mysterious artifact called the Midas Box, and much more.

Will looked chipper as ever as he winked at Mariah’s younger brother.

“Haven’t been routing any more villains, have you, old chap?”

“No, sir,” Felix replied, smiling.

Will, spotting Sacha, removed his hat and moved closer to take her small hand in his.

“A pleasure to see you again, my dear,” he said politely.

She shook his hand back, clearly unaccustomed to gentlemen doffing their hats. Sacha glanced at Mariah, who grinned back. She’d just have to get used to it, if she was going to look the part of a fine lady. And she does, he thought.

“Will you be staying for dinner, sir?” Mrs. Prewitt asked, holding out her hand for his hat.

Charity glanced from one face to the other, gaze finally flicking to the staff. “Yes, I think I shall.”

The three smiled and Felix launched into a description of his most recent ventures. As they approached the dining hall, a small monkey launched itself onto Will’s head, wrapping its tiny paws around his forehead. Felix and Sacha started to laugh, watching Will struggle to pry his tiny hands off.

“Rishi, heel,” Felix called through his giggles.

The monkey leaped off their guest’s head and onto the boy’s shoulder, still chattering happily. Will, his face still a little pink, looked at the creature with frustration.

“Mother and Father got him from their trip to India,” he grinned.

“Oh, yes, I remember now,” the adventurer shot the monkey a look. “He’s the little fellow who crawled down my trousers.”

The tiny animal screeched excitedly, jumping up and down on Felix’s shoulder. Mariah and Sacha laughed and Will amiably chuckled along, shooting the monkey another dark look as Felix passed on ahead. Mariah noticed that the older man’s gaze swept back over the staff, as if reassuring himself that it was there, that it was safe. Safe from what? Mariah wondered.

Will was cheerful over luncheon, talking vividly about his days in the Caribbean islands. Mariah’s little brother hung on his every word, narrow face flushed with excitement.

“…Well, there we were right in the middle of the tribal camp of cannibals, as it were! Lucky the boys were good shots or I would never have made it out of there alive.”

“Did you really get captured by cannibals?” Felix asked, eyes wide with curiosity.

“Multiple times, if my memory serves me correctly,” Will said, obviously delighted to have an interested listener who enjoyed his dramatics.

Sacha and Mariah exchanged a smile. She’s so much happier, he thought, recalling the first time he’d met her. Then her hair had been pulled back in a tight bun and she had worn a severe look as befitted a girl of her position. Sacha looked very much different now, with her golden-brown hair shiny and loose down her back and an easy twinkle.

“Wouldn’t you agree, Mariah?”

They broke their gaze, turning to look at the other two.

“Sorry?” The older boy glanced at his brother, who gave him a knowing look.

He shot Felix one back before turning back to Will.

“I was just remarking to your brother about how you’ve had your fair share of adventure, wouldn’t you say?” Charity leaned back in his chair, eyes bright. Screen Shot 2016-11-08 at 6.56.07 PM

“Didn’t you have enough fun on our last venture, Felix?” Mariah teased.

They adjourned to the sitting room after dinner. Sacha and Felix sat at the piano, the latter trying to show her a certain piece and the former following along slowly. Will stood next to Mariah, who was watching them with an absentminded smile. Charity turned to him, smile settling into a determined line.

“If I could have a word,” he murmured under his breath.

They stepped to the side and the older man’s amused look vanished.

“Mariah, it’s very important that you get away from here,” he hissed urgently.

The youth stopped, attention acquired. “What?”

Will glanced into the room, where the two were practicing peaceably.

“You’re in grave danger, all of you. You have to get away and take the scepter with you,” he ordered.

“Why is it that every time you show up I find myself on the run and involved with some kind of magical object?” Mariah asked, trying to sound light despite his warning.

Charity smiled wryly. “It is getting a bit dull, isn’t it? Remind me to bring you a monster next time, those are fun.”

A monster? Mariah thought dubiously, unsure whether the explorer was joking.

Looking serious once more, Will accepted his hat from Mrs. Prewitt.

“Remember, you must leave. I can’t contact you, it’s too dangerous. You’ll have to get away on your own, but if you’re low on funds, go to the National Bank and ask for a claim under the bureau. They have separate files for each of their agents.”

Charity turned, smile flashing on again as Felix and Sacha stepped into the room.

“Are you leaving so soon?” Felix asked, face falling in disappointment.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, look out for one another, won’t you?” He winked at Sacha, sweeping out the door.

The three watched as he walked out onto the cobbled streets, cane swinging in his hand. After a moment, Sacha and Felix stepped away, but Mariah stayed to see where the explorer went. He paused before a strange hansom and a man stepped out to speak to him. He couldn’t help but notice the way his friend’s hand tightened on the handle of his cane. Mariah wondered if something was wrong, but then Will stepped in.

In the sitting room, Sacha and Felix were practicing again, looking up as he reentered the room. Mariah went straight to the scepter resting on the piano, gazing at its glossy sheen.

What about it could cause us so much danger? He wondered.

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Mama Seeton’s Whistle

I recently found this book at the library. SO cute and such a well illustrated, good read.

One day as Mama Seeton came out to call her young son, Skippy, she couldn’t find him. mammaseetonThough she looked everywhere, he wasn’t to be found. And that’s when it happened. Without even thinking about it, she puckered her lips and whistled. Though the whistle wasn’t fancy or loud, Skippy Seeton heard it and came.  From then on, when Mama Seeton came onto the back porch and whistled, he came. And when Sheldon, Stewart, and Sophie came along, the whistle called them too. As they grew older, the Seeton kids would wander all over town. But whenever Mama came onto that back porch, chocolate cake in hand and whistle ready, they would come. The years went by and the Seeton kids grew up. They left Mama Seeton to become big adults. And thought she was happy for them, Mama missed the old times. She longed to touch a face. Finally, Papa urged her to stand on the back porch and whistle. “Are you goofy?” She asked. He smiled. “If you just pretend it’s the old days maybe you’ll feel better.” So Mama Seeton whistled. It wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t loud. But it brought the Seeton kids back home.

This book was so sweet and so well illustrated. I love that it’s a period piece (somewhere around the 50s or 60s) and the family story. One of the best picture books I’ve read in a while. I highly recommend it, even to adults. It’s a warm story that will touch your heart and if that doesn’t get you, I’m sure the colorful illustrations will.

Chime Time: Is there any significant quirk of your childhood that you still remember?


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First Flight Field Trip

Recently we were blessed to be able to partake in the First Flight Field Trip, hosted by the Anaheim Ducks and Honda Center. This field trip centers around the dynamics of hockey and is a fun, educational trip to remember.

In the months leading up to the trip, my mother received several packets, containing what was required for science experiments dealing with the logic of building and maintaining an ice rink. It was tons of fun to build our own ice rink, make ice cream, learned about kinetic energy and heat transfer, reviewed the different forms of water, and much more. It was extremely generous of our benefactors to send these over.

The day of the trip finally arrived. After packing everything up the night before, we headed471d2bafa3.jpg to bed. The next morning, at 5:20, the day began. It was time to get up and at ’em! We arrived at the church bright and early. The group quickly worked out our route and then we were off. When we arrived at the stadium it was about 8:00 am. The sun glimmered on the horizon and the chilly morn air nipped at our noses. IN the large parking center of the Ducks stadium hundreds of kids milled about, taking part in various activities. Our first stop was sledding. The rush was exhilarating as we fly down the snowhill, slowly shifting from side to side. It is an uncertain, slightly wild ride, but a fast and thrilling one. Then it was over.

We wandered, taking in SWAG and learning about the science dynamics of hockey. PBS channel was there, as well as a college and Toyo Tires. Each generously helped kids learn more about what goes into being an ice engineer. Inside the center we trailed through the gift shop, perusing the merchandise and getting a glimpse of a virtual reality headset. Over the din of the crowd we lined up. Into the stadium we went. It was surprising how warm it was in there.

We settled into our seats, taking a nibble of this and a sip of that, before the event begins. Up on the video screens, random sections of the audience were filmed. Their reactions at their faces, for all to see, were hilarious and cute at the same time. Then suddenly the lights dimmed.

The event had started.

Kids were encouraged to make some noise and the volume level was crazy in there. Then suddenly the big video screens came to life again. Kids got to see a small video explaining about there being a lack of engineers. Kids were asked to help the players figure out what an ice engineer does. Booming, dramatic music filled the stadium, the lights went out and a massive Zamboni entered, upon which Wild Wing our our host rode. They jumped off and launched into an explanation of our role in the activities taking place.

Kids were shown what goes into making and maintaining a hockey rink. Friction, thermodynamics, and heat transfer are just some of the topics covered, complete with interactions from students. Then we got to watch hockey players explain the science of ice cream, after which was a quick “dance break”. Then came the Skill Competition. Kids were divided, the audience becoming four different teams: Team Black, Team Red, Team Orange, and Team White. On the ice, hockey players from each “team” competed. These players, all Anaheim Ducks, skated cheerfully around the cold rink. In the first round, they shot pucks, each allotted a certain amount of points, into the nets. Our team won! In the next skill, “Hardest Shot”, players must try to shoot the puck at 100 mph. Once more White won, followed closely by Team Red and Team Orange. In the final round, a relay race, players must take the puck around obstacles and back to the other end of there ink. Orange was moving fast, coming up quick, but suddenly White rushed by. We’d won! A cheer rose, ending the excited chant for our team.

Once more kids were encouraged to make some noise, then thanked for participating. Teachers were cheered for as well before a final, wordless roar of approval. It is clear this field trip sat well with the students gathered. Excited chatter filled the stadium as the audience filed out. We said goodbye to our friends and filed out, two things on our mind: the trip and the pursuit of greasy cheeseburgers.

All in all, it was an exciting, well-planned trip. It was spectacularly fun as well as informative and made me want to go to a real Ducks game. I’ll be looking forward to next year in anticipation.

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American Girl: Ultimate Visual Guide

Have I ever mentioned I love American Girl? If not, here’s a book to remind you of a great company and story:

636071411154411042-9781465444967-2-In the 1980s, Pleasant T. Rowland had a remarkable idea. Inspired by the history of our country and the true heroics of girls both past and present, she would create a company for girls. There would be dolls, books, and whole stories created for girls and their mothers to enjoy together. In 1986, that dream became a reality when the first three American Girl dolls debuted: Kirsten Larson, Samantha Tarkington, and Molly McIntire. Girls eagerly bought and used these first dolls and the company slowly expanded, first adding new wardrobe collections for their first dolls, then adding characters Samantha Tarkington (in 1990), Felicity Merriman (1991), Addy Walker (1993), and finally Josefina Montoya (1997). As the company kept expanding, more stories, more characters, and more merchandise was introduced. Girls could now get dolls that looked like them, go to an American Girl store with their doll, and read American Girl magazine with their doll. As the 21st century began, Pleasant Company became American Girl company and two new dolls were released: Kit Kittredge, an aspiring reporter in the midst of the Great Depression, and Lindsey Bergman, an animal lover whose facing a brand new century. As the years have progressed, American Girl thrived, introducing their line of contemporary characters (which later became Girl of the Year), new historical characters (Ivy Ling and Julie Albright, along with Rebecca Rubin a few years later), and Truly Me (dolls that look like American Girls). Pleasant T. Rowland’s dream to celebrate American history and girls at the same time has become a huge success and it was wonderful to read the story.

First off, I had to have mentioned I love American Girl before. I grew up on it. I read the american women list mainhistorical books for years. I remember reading my first catalogue when I was about six or seven. Mia was the girl of the year back then, but what really intrigued me were the historical characters. Kit Kittredge and Felicity Merriman were my personal favorites, with their spunky outlook on life and the courage to do things in a time when that seemed impossible. I loved horses and I loved (and still love) writing like Kit. I was delighted to discover, when reading this book, that Kit debuted around the same timeline I was born! Coincidence?

My sisters and I have spent years with American Girl. Our tenth birthdays centered around it and we each have a doll (mini doll that is) of our favorite character. It’s been such a joy to have them and to read the books. I truly love American Girl and this book is such an ode to that kind of joy. So many girls have shared and loved American Girl. A whole generation has passed that is now mothers and is sharing American Girl with their daughters. This book is such a wonderful, colorful celebration of that. I highly recommend it.

Chime Time?  Who’s your favorite AG character?

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Happy B-Day, Dr. Seuss!


Today marks the anniversary of a great man’s life. His books were a joy to all and have been the subject of TV shows, movies, cartoons, and more! My personal favorites are Oh the Things You Can ThinkGreen Eggs and Ham, and the classic Cat in the Hat. While I volunteer at a library event celebrating today, I hope you have time to reflect on some of your favorite Dr. Seuss books and stories.

To compound on his whimsical themes, I’ve compiled some pretty good Seuss quotes:




I love all of these quotes. But one of my favorites is almost our library’s un-official motto:


Which Seuss quote is your favorite?

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Word of Mouse

“No matter the temperature, home is always colder when there’s no family to share it with.” -Isaiah

In a mad dash to escape the terrible labs where he’s been raised, Isaiah is separated from 516gwmzh4cl-_sx342_bo1204203200_his family. Alone in the suburbs and the outside world for the first time, he must survive on his own. With the help of the charming Mikayla and her mischief, Isaiah finds his courage and becomes a great mouse in his own right. But blue-furred and different as he is, he may never fit into the mouse world. But with the meeting of a human girl named Hailey, Isaiah discovers the human world, where not all two-legged creatures are out to stick a needle into him. Armed with the truth about his situation and newfound bravery, Isaiah determines it’s time to rescue his family – once and for all.

This new children’s book is a delightful read. Full of funny quips, quotes, and sayings from the plucky Isaiah, Word of Mouse is a delight that will warm all hearts and make you want to read more of his story. For a huge animal lover, this book ranks high on my list of animal reads. Definitely time spent wisely, I will come back to this book more than once.

Chime Time! What’s your favorite animal book?

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Horus and the Curse of Everlasting Regret

It is the 1930s, decade of some of the greatest monster films of all time. In a sleepy little town, where summers are long and carefree, a great mystery abounds.

24755514Peter is an inventor. All he wants to do is get away from his stepbrothers, who bully and beat him mercilessly. Though his father loves him and his stepmother is kind, both are blind to his situation. And with his father leaving, Peter knows they won’t be restrained from fully rendering him senseless. Petunia is an artist. Her mother taught her how to write in beautiful lettering, with swirls and dips and perfect dots. Now it’s just her and her father, who is deliriously ill. “Tunie” is forced to work for an impatient woman and do double-time for her father’s night shift at the museum. And if she doesn’t get money for a doctor soon, Tunie’s father may die. When both children read about a mysterious kidnapping and discover a live mummy in the museum, they are forced to work together to solve the mystery of what really happened to the kidnapped girl and Horus – before it’s too late.

Written masterfully by Hannah Voskuil,  I found this book months ago but never actually got around to reading. When I finally did I found it to be a delight and an enjoyable journey. This entertaining read is sure to spark a child’s interest in all things “mummy.” The book was also good about telling the story from not only Peter and Tunie’s point of view, but also from Horus’. As a reader, I was thrilled with the narrative and engrossed in such a well-told tale. I highly recommend this book for all with a penchant for the historical and mystical.

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The Notorious Benedict Arnold

It is a dark time for the Americans. As the Revolutionary War rages on, Americans and Brits alike suffer losses. One Benedict Arnold leads a strong force against the British. George Washington trusts this man with his life. Until suddenly the cry of “traitor” can be applied to his friend.

But the story doesn’t start here…

The Arnold family history was one rife with tragedy and success. Benedict Arnold was 91o8ojrwdelactually Arnold the III. Ashamed by his father’s reputation as a drunkard and hopeless fool who lost the family fortune, the boy grew up brash, bold, and headstrong. Those who knew him could be quoted as saying he could not stand public scorn and wished to be in the spotlight. As a young man, he made his way in the world, becoming a wealthy young businessman. Later he became a part of the American army, leading a daring fleet of men to Canada that would be unbelievable to most. Through his rise in the ranks of the American army, Benedict Arnold led remarkable forces and committed reckless, but successful acts that could only be described as amazing. Through public scorn, shame, and scandal, he continued his work for the Americans. His turn to “traitor” is a convoluted tale that will draw readers in and make them question their impressions about this historical figure.

In this well told nonfiction read, Steve Sheinkin takes us into the mysteries of American history and explains a complex man who was not only traitor, but friend and hero. I really enjoyed the story and think Benedict Arnold’s story would actually make a remarkable film extravaganza. His adventures are at times unbelievable, but completely entertaining. His turn to traitor is also one of the most interesting portions of the story, as it was actually more than the simple matter I thought it was. I highly recommend this book for all readers. Parents might think to read through this book with their younger children so they can help them better understand what’s going on. Again, a marvelous read and I highly recommend it!

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Happy Valentine’s!

heart-1192662_960_720To all you readers and bloggers out there, Happy Valentine’s! I hope your day was as full of
love as mine was. Family is the best company and mine sure is some company. And for those of you who are younger, like me and my siblings, remember that Valentine’s is Dia de Amistad in Spanish. That’s “Day of Friendship”, something my grandmother taught me. Remember all those whom you love, whether it be friends or family. Happy Valentine’s!

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Banyon Fire Station

It’s about 10:00 AM. It’s misty, chilly, and for most of the kids, too early to be up. After a quick briefing on the way, we pile into our cars and set off. A quick ten or fifteen minutes later, we have reached Banyon Fire Station.

firetruck-2020742_960_720We are greeted by Mr. Andy Parker. He leads us into the station and through a large garage of sorts into their kitchen. Here we meet the station’s captain, Mr. Roberts. He and Mr. Parker cheerfully explain that they are making a meal. Mr. Parker goes on to explain that at the station, they make 2 fresh meals every day. The fire trucks one might of see in front of a grocery store is because they are in fact shopping. To keep men healthy, food should be fresh. Men do not eat out and, conveniently enough, there is a workout room right next to the kitchen. As Mr. Parker explains fire safety and what would happen to us if they had a call at the station, an alarm sounds. The captain and Mr. Parker vanish out the door and we now meet Mr. Abel Castaneda, who explains he is only present today because there are firefighters testing to become engineers.

Just then, Mr. Parker and the captain return, explaining that they do not have to leave. They continue the tour from where they left off. All the men are trained as paramedics. They also work technical rescue. According to our guides, the station takes care of traffic accidents, fires, and medical emergencies. They leave when pipes break. They’ve actually pulled cats out of a tree. According to Mr. Parker, they’d even pulled an owl out of a tree. They took care of a bear wandering around in Etiwanda last year. My respect for these men grows as they explain the difficulties of their job. Being a firefighter is not for the faint of heart! The job is also rather time-consuming. Men dedicate a third of their lives to this job. A typical shift is 24 hr and men will work 4 shifts in a row; 24 hrs on, 24 hrs off. A usual work week will have 56 hrs on the time card. During the night, the men might be able to sleep. Back in the day, firefighters would take shifts. Now they can all sleep, thanks to a special alarm system.

Mr. Parker leads us out of the kitchen area and gives us a brief look at their sleeping quarters. Mr. Castaneda explains that the station he used to work had barracks. Due to the amount of land they had, the men were able to request regular rooms, with twin beds and a bathroom. We move past to the garage and are given a chance to look at their gear room, where open lockers contain their equipment for easy access. There are two fire engines still remaining, but, as Mr. Castaneda explains to us, the truck that just went out is a fire truck, not a fire engine. Fire trucks primarily carry water and some smaller equipment such as shovels and hoses. Firefighters must be able to detect where the fire is and know where their equipment is. In canyon, cliff, and trench rescues, they have a special vehicle to help. The engineer sits at the front with a headset. He has a backseat where he can store gear and in emergency situations, firefighters might ride.

On the fire engine, Mr. Castaneda shows us their air-fuel station. They strap these to their back and can refuel when necessary. “We look like the Rocketeer,” he laughs. He then shows us their main ladder. It can stretch up to 100 feet and lie at an almost complete vertical angle. He opens another door and shows us where they keep a basket to carry patients. A firefighter will help strap them in. In canyon and trench rescues, he might be lowered down by a helicopter. “We have to be incredibly fast,” Mr. Parker comments, when speaking of the transfer. They have extra equipment and hydraulics in the side of the fire engine. The system works at 5000 to 8000 lbs.

My fellow highschooler gets a chance to pick up a circular saw when opening a new firefighter-920032_960_720cupboard. Inside there are chainsaws as well as the circular saws. These are used to get into the house. These chainsaws have special chains to cut through the roof of a house. Terra-cotta, wood, and other materials can be broken under the weight, pressure, and strength of these saws. In a drawer, they show us sledgehammers and large keys; crowbars and pryers. They have big scoop shovels, safety cones, and brooms. The amount of equipment is staggering. Mr. Castaneda shows us an orange box of medical equipment. This will be carried by the paramedics when they get to patients.

At the back of the engine, there is a compartment for extra ladders and wood blocks. The wood blocks, our guides explain, are used to lift heavy trucks in a traffic accident. They also have air bags and tarps to lift trucks. They have a mapping system for sewer lines and drainage system. This system is accessible for the firefighters at Chaffey. As we close the compartment and go around to the side, Mr. Parker points out a pole in the corner. “We had a rattlesnake over here,” he explains. According to the firefighters, they must deal with snake calls, being so close to the foothills. “So here we are a bunch of tough guys, not wanting to get near the thing!”

On the right side of the fire engine, there are many more compartments. One contains rope bags. Another has a station to refuel air bottles to rescue their own firefighters. According to them, firefighters have fallen on the job and must be rescued by their fellow firefighters. The kids goggle him, in awe at the dangers depicted. In a different cupboard, they have large lights. “In case we knock out the electrical in a house, these are to light up the place,” Mr. Castaneda explains. In the next compartment are tarps. These are to cover valuable objects in a house, such as china and computers. Underneath these, they have a vacuum underneath to pull water out of a house.

Now back at the front of the engine, we thank the firefighters. It’s been a wonderful, informative trip. We gather for a group picture, wearing “helmets” of red plastic and flashing our golden badges. The kids are proud and I am happy to have attended such a delightful trip. My respect for these fighters has increased tenfold. These men are such an important part of our community and they serve us faithfully. We should be grateful to them for all the hard work they do and the amazing services we’ve been paid.

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