So he helped his mom Heather get all ready, and he even wore his big boy underpants. He brought his Old Dog Edgar, and his Young Dog Emmett, who is Ben's good friend. Ben helped print out the directions and the whole kit and caboodle headed north to Ferne Cliffe State Park, in Illinois.
Before they all started hiking, Ben peed right on a leaf and the grass. (It was okay, because we were in Nature, not in civilization.) That was very helpful. His mom was glad that he did not need to change clothes.
Once they started hiking in earnest, (they were in Illinois, but they were also earnest), Ben realized that the stroller was going to be a lot lighter without a Ben in it. "I'll walk," he said. And he did. The whole way.
Ben grabbed his mommy's hand and helped her escape from being squished on the head by a giant tree!
Ben helped his mommy from tipping over when he showed her the cool stuff. Ben's mommy is a little tippy these days, since his baby brother is taking up a lot of room in her belly.
Ben was showing his mommy the gargantuan rock. Ben's mommy smacked her own forehead in disbelief and amazement.
Ben helped his mommy and his baby brother and his Old Dog Edgar and his Young Dog Emmett who is his friend through the muddy slippery part. He held on extra tight, which helped his mommy be extra brave.
They made it! They thought this was where Ferne Cliffe State Park got its Ferne Cliffe name, though they didn't know where the extra ees (Ferne Cliffe) came from. This cliff was covered with ferns. (You can click to enlarge and use your back button to come back. Ben said so.)
Ben helped his baby brother feel like he was part of the gang by sitting on him!
Ben helped show his mommy and his dogs the way.
Then Ben showed his mommy the slimy stuff under the biggest rock in the world. Young Dog Emmett didn't care to see, and Old Dog Edgar thought they should have a snack.
Ben helped by posing handsomely in front of a Big Dark Crevice. Ben is not only helpful. Ben is brave.
Ben realized that his Old Dog Edgar was thinking about a little snack. He gave each dog a dog treat, and then got out the graham crackers. He gave each dog a graham cracker, and then he gave his mommy one (who shared it with his brother in her belly) and he even gave Lindy Loo and William's old servant two! (Maybe three, but who was counting.)
This will be hard for you to believe, but Ben went down all of those wooden steps far away, and then he went up all of these wooden steps right here, by himself without help! Yes, that's right, he did. His mommy and Lindy Loo and William's servant carried the stroller down and up and Emmett the Young Dog decided this was an opportune time to try to romance his sister Lindy Loo. He got a head bop from Lindy Loo's servant. He decided it was a bad idea after all.
Ben even made his own sandwich in the picnic place after that long hilly hike. He ran up and down the hill and helped lead his Old Dog Edgar back to the car.
On the long ride home, Ben sang his A B C's and 1 2 3's and made everyone in the car just a little smarter.
Anyone who got to take a hike with helpful Ben is lucky lucky lucky, and they know it.
hug your hounds and any helpful Bens you know!