The Thornberrys are in Northern Canada filming some coyotes. They have been there for a long miserable 8 weeks and are really close to finishing up within the next few days. Eliza is out as usual with Donnie and Darwin trying to find some coyotes unlike her parents. "Where are those coyotes?" Eliza said as they were wandering around in a wooded area. As she rounded a boulder looking for a cave of theirs she saw what she thought was a coyote.
She screamed out in delight "A coyote!"
Darwin also screamed out in fear of being eaten. The coyote had been so startled by the noise and from his morning breakfast and just stared at them. He then saw a little girl and a monkey scared for his life and looked like he wanted to attack.
"We are not breakfast so move your butt out of here!" Darwin said about to fight the animal.
He started to growl at them for being so rude. "What do you want? This is my breakfast!" he growled.
"Sorry, we just wanted to talk to you we didn't mean to scare you," Eliza said feeling a bit hurt by his reaction. She just glared at Darwin for his outburst and for startling the coyote.
Darwin just rolled his eyes out of annoyance.
"You can talk?" the coyote said to her as she was arguing with Darwin.
"Ya a really long story," she began getting his attention. "I'm Eliza and this is my best friend Darwin and my little brother Donnie. The one eating the bugs," she explained as she grabbed him from his snack.
"I'm Spots," he said eyeing Darwin who looked really freaked out. He wanted to say hi but he just hid behind his best friend.
"What do you want to do?" he said changing the subject and the tension between them.
"Lets go exploring!" she suggested to him.
"Hey lets go explore that cave," Spots suggested.
"That isn't yours?" Eliza said kind of confused.
"No," mine is about a mile or so from here.
"Alright lets go!" she said as they dashed for the cave only yards away.
8 miles away Marianne and Nigel were finishing up on their next piece on the coyotes. Nigel was talking away as he carefully approached one of the pups.
"Please be careful," Marianne said as Nigel crept towards the animal.
As he did that one of the other coyotes tried to grab him from behind just missing him as he ran back to the safety of a bush. He scrambled up as quickly as he could over to his wife who couldn't move a muscle if she tried.
"Nigel never do anything like that again please," Marianne said getting teary-eyed.
"But dearest I always do dumb things like that why else do our viewers watch it?" he said not really sure why she was getting after him of all days.
"Look at yourself you are going to get yourself killed if you don't be more careful, besides I thought you were in this because you loved the animals," she said trying to get him to understand how stupid he is acting. She just started packing up the camera equipment so they could head home besides she was feeling really tired.
"But dearest of course I love the animals why else did I choose this career?" he said as she was packing up. You look awful Marianne are you sure you are alright?" he said getting worried.
"Of course I 'am, I'm just tired we have been here for a long time. I'm just tired that's all," she finished as they finished loading up and left.
Eliza on the other hand was having the time of her life with her best buddy and her new friend. "Time to get the flashlight it is getting so dark in here," she announced as they went much deeper into the cave.
"Eliza where are you?" Darwin shrieked as he bumped into her making her drop her flashlight.
"Darwin! Look at what you made me do!" she said as her flashlight fell to the ground. It broke and so she couldn't see anything. "Darwin I'm scared," she finally admitted to him.
They all were trying their best to find a way out and just as she got up from her fall the whole cave started to collapse in on all of them.
"Oh my gosh! We have to get out of here now!" Eliza screamed over the noise of the rumbling.
Everything started to roll around them and the first thing it hit was Spots, she heard a loud yelp and then silence. "Spots! Spots! Spots!" Eliza screamed at the top of her lungs and tried her hardest to find him in the cruel darkness. She heard labored breathing right next to her and the breathing got shallower and shallower. "Spots? Don't die please don't die! Don't die!" she cried softly with Darwin and Donnie to her side. She felt where he had been hit and it scared her even more, he had been hit in his throat where a major artery lies meaning he will bleed to death.
Eliza cried and cried for her new friend. "Its not fair!" she sobbed into her hands as they slowly left for the evening. It took a good 3 hours to get out of the collapsed cave and surly by now her parents would be worried sick. When she finally got back home her parents were waiting anxiously for her.
"Eliza where were you? We were getting so worried," Nigel said when she finally walked into the commvee an hour late. Eliza began to cry again as she tried to explain what had happened.
Both of her parents just gasped when she explained what happened. "Mom it was awful I didn't see a thing but when I felt it he was dead," she said crying as she just hugged her mom.
"Oh Eliza I know how hard it is when anything dies but you know you are so important to us. I don't know what I would do without you sweetie," Marianne said as she hugged Eliza tightly. "We have some big news for you kids," she started hoping to cheer Eliza up some.
"What?" Eliza said as she perked up a little bit.
"We have decided to send you kids and Darwin to spend two whole months with grandma Sophie and Grandpa Frank," she said trying to cheer up Eliza.
"Really?" Eliza said looking up at her mom.
"Yes I know you haven't been there in a while so we have arranged for you kids to fly out Saturday afternoon from Vancouver about 2 days from now," she finished.
"But what about you and dad?" Eliza said sadly.
"We have lots of work to do and besides I'm beat," Marianne finished as she sat down, she was just too weak to stand anymore.
"Mom are you ok?" Debbie asked.
"Oh of course I am sweetie I am just really tired especially after today's filming," she finished again.
Nigel just gave her a look of annoyance.
The next morning Eliza went to help her father do his show because Marianne was out of it.
"We are going to finish taping the coyotes Nigel style," he said out of great excitement.
As she taped his show he started to lunge towards a coyote and almost got bitten. "Geeze dad you know how to make a show exciting," she said as she watched her father look for some more coyotes around a treed area. "Do you think mom will be ok?" Eliza said getting sad. "It seems she has gotten worse overnight and I'm scared to because she is so sick, she added.
"She may have the flu or something like it it could be just about anything. I'll take her in the same day you girls leave in Vancouver and get her checked out. Hopefully that will help her get better," Nigel said as he and Eliza sat underneath a tree for a break.
"Dad why did that animal have to die?" Eliza said as she began to cry again.
"Eliza everything dies its just the part of life that everyone goes through," Nigel said comforting her as he held her tightly. "Well I say we should resume on those coyotes now don't you think?" he said patting her back.
She just smiled at him and resumed her place behind the camera.
For the next 4 hours Eliza and Nigel did their best to wrap it up so they could get back home quickly. By 6 P.M. the sun was starting to set and Nigel did all he could so he felt he did his absolute best so they packed up in the mini-comm and headed home.
Eliza was still sad over her new friends death but she understood that if it weren't for him she would have been dead and then what? What would her family do? How about Darwin? Donnie? Would he even understand that? That night she just lay in her bed awake trying to understand the "Whys?" but then her thoughts turned to her mom and knowing if she died the coyote would mean nothing. Being in another country almost every day and her old age could have a toll on her. Maybe she has some sort of foreign disease. No she is stronger than that she has survived everything from floods to hurricanes to earthquakes just to be brought down like this over the flu? Why not me? Why her? I can so bounce back quicker and she wouldn't be doubled over all day either. Eliza just stayed put and drifted off into a deep, deep, deep sleep.
Several hours later she awoke and heard her mom up and about. They were on their way to Vancouver even though they still had a day left. It was 3 A.M. by the digital clock. What is mom doing up at this time? Eliza thought as she got up and put on her cute lion slippers. "Oh hi mom what are you doing up?" Eliza said as she saw her drinking coffee.
"Had a bad night I couldn't get a wink of sleep feeling as terrible as I do," Marianne said as Eliza sat down next to her.
"Do you feel any better?" she asked even more concerned.
"Not really honey been up all night but hopefully tomorrow they can help me get better," she finished.
"It isn't contagious is it?" Eliza asked as she scooted over a little bit.
"No Eliza do you really think I would give you the flu?" she said cheering up Eliza.
"No I guess not I mean you couldn't have some foreign disease either," she added.
"Where did you hear that? I'm not that sick. It just has to be from all the traveling we do and my age even though this is the longest we have stayed anywhere at one time," she finished.
Eliza was pretty much satisfied and went back to bed for a few more hours.