"This is NOT a good idea," Janie Evans said firmly, her arms folded across her chest.
"That's what you ALWAYS say!" her twin brother Jamie protested angrily.
"Because it's always true!" Janie pouted. "Please, please, please please please PLEASE don't try!"
Jamie bit his lip and looked out the open window of the two-story bedroom he and his sister shared. A zipline cable stretched nearly a mile out from the top of the window to the big oak tree at the edge of the yard.
"No," he said decisively, turning back to his sister. "I'm gonna do it."
Janie glowered. "I'm gonna tell Mom!" she cried, running out of the room.
"But-!" he called after her.
Too late. Janie was already gone.
Frantically, Jamie ran over to the window. He reached up, grabbed the handle of the zipline, and swung himself out the window.
His short, light brown hair moving back slightly in the breeze, Jamie sailed down the zipline cable.
"Wheee!" he yelled delightedly. This had been a great idea. He knew it! Janie was just a stupid, pesty-
Suddenly, a bird landed on the cable, just a few feet ahead of him.
"Aaaaaa!" the seven-year-old screamed, his delight quickly turning to fear.
The blue jay fluttered its wings, turned its head sideways to see Jamie, who squeezed his eyes shut- and the zipline crashed into the bird.
"SQUAWK!" it shrieked as it spiraled to the ground, one wing crumpled beneath it.
The zipline swung recklessly back and forth for a minute, Jamie's knuckles turning white in an attempt to hold on. Finally, it stopped, and Jamie was suspended twenty feet above the ground in the middle of the zipline cable. Slowly, he opened his eyes.
"Oh, no," he whispered, staring at the ground far beneath him.
Jamie kicked his legs back and forth, trying to get the zipline moving again, but to no avail. In desperation, tears started trickling down his small cheeks, and he sniffled.
"HELP!" he yelled, his voice trembling.