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Six

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Even though the river was moving pretty fast, we were on the water for a really long time. We did stop a few times though so that we could all go to the bathroom. "I can't believe I went along with this," Winder said a few hours into it. I was just sitting there, taking in all the forest scenery, while Kanon steered and sang a song that sounded vaguely familiar.

"At least you're not up in a plane where you'd probably be puking your guts out right about now," I reminded him.

"Yeah, there's just a ringing in my ear from his singing ... no big deal," Winder responded sarcastically. I rolled my eyes.

"Hey, Mister Syeke-"

"You can call me Kanon, Lil' Missy."

"Kanon. What song are you singing?" I asked.

"You don't know it?" he asked shocked. "It's the Ace's Verse. You know: aces high, aces low, the only way they'd reach the sky, is if everyone else were down below," he sang. "I just put my own tune to it to make it sound more cheerful."

"I thought the last part was: when you look to the sky, know your true colors show," I told him.

"No, it's definitely: 'the only way they'd reach the sky, is if everyone else were down below,'" Winder concurred.

"It is?"

"Yeah. I used to hear it all the time when I was a kid. I hated that stupid rhyme," Winder said. "Where did you hear that other version?"

"Oh I ... I just heard it as a nursery rhyme when I was younger," I lied. "I didn't think it meant anything."

"Well whoever you went to school with must of liked you to tell you that version, Lil' Missy."

"Oh they didn't teach it to me in school or anything like that-it's just a little rhyme I've heard a couple of times."

"Well maybe if you were in school as we speak they would have taught it to you the right way by now," Winder muttered.

I glared at him. "I heard that."

"Well, now seems like the perfect time to stop and relieve myself," Kanon said, steering the raft over to the bank of a rather still part of the river.

"Didn't we just stop to go to the bathroom?" Winder asked him exasperatedly.

"We did, but I need to go again."

Winder looked at him in disbelief. "You're like a puppy," he said under his breath.

"The forest is my toilet Boy, so I never let my bladder fill up," Kanon told him matter-of-factly.

"Okay now I think I'm gonna puke," Winder said, leaning over the edge of the raft and making throw-up noises.

"This is the perfect place for y'all to stock up on some berries and nuts too." Both Winder and I confusingly looked at Kanon. "Don't have enough for the three of us in my bag. Y'all do wanna eat, don't ya?"

"I haven't eaten anything since the plane ride to Mondo," I confessed as Kanon pulled over onto the riverbank. "And by 'eaten' I mean one of those free packets of pretzels you get with only like five pretzels in it."

"I'm not that hungry," Winder stated simply. Gee, I wonder why.

"Well then you don't have to eat any of the hog."

"What hog?" I asked Kanon.

"The hog I'm about to go catch," Kanon said before hopping off the raft, his rifle in hand. After securing the raft by wrapping the rope that was attached to it around a nearby boulder, he extended his hand to help me get onto shore. "Just saw one go off into the bushes over there. It's gettin' late, so if we wanna stock up for supper, better do it now." The sun was already setting.

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