The Bad Ass Eight Year Old and her Sis

Two little girls got lost in the woods in Humboldt County on Friday. They followed a deer trail into the woods that afternoon and then couldn’t find their way home. 200 people spent Saturday looking for them with no luck. Finally, on Sunday morning two volunteer firefighters followed their rain-boot tracks and found them cold but safe.

The girls had been missing for forty-four hours.  They were in the woods where mountain lions roam. The younger one is only five years old. Her big sister kept her warm, huddled under a huckleberry bush at night in the rain. They had one raincoat to share.

When interviewed the eight year old said they drank water from leaves and ate granola bars. How awesome is that? She’d packed food for them. They also sang nursery rhymes at the top of their lungs in hopes that someone would find them.

No, they shouldn’t have wandered off alone after they asked their mom to take them on a walk and she’d said no. Yes, they did the right thing by staying put once they realized they were lost. They’d learned some survival skills from their 4-H leader Justin and from their dad.

Watching the older sister speak on national TV, I could see that she was the one who had pulled them through.  She was happy to share their story while her little sis didn’t say much.

I don’t know any eight year olds, but the ten year old I know doesn’t have survival skills like that. The three little girls across the street don’t have skills like that.  Living in Suburbia is different from living in the redwoods.

Kudos to Dad, who by the way, wouldn’t let go of his older daughter when they were reunited. You could see that he forgave her for disobeying.  Mom had more mixed emotions. Yes, she was happy, of course, but she seemed more numb. Both parents had prepared for the worst. How had their daughters survived two cold and wet nights?

As my contractor said, “It’s nice to hear some good news for a change.”

I’m sending that girl and her sis some books, and if they turn away the package from a stranger, the return address will deliver the books to their local library.

With California’s floods and winter mudslides, we needed a miracle, and we got one.


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