But wait … the placement of a big, lonely shrub in the crux of a trench at the edge of the road seemed odd.
“Laura, go see if there’s anything behind that shrub.”
Sure enough. It hid the entrance to a mine, doubtless full of wonders for all its secrecy. Fighting past the shrub and swarm of flies gave us our reward: a rotting mattress, rusting cans and rubble piled to the ceiling. Blitzen wasn’t giving up easily.
As we stood looking back toward town, contemplating our next move, Laura got the call. Her classmates had arrived.