The Ultimate Tree House Project!

Read the preview chapters of The Ultimate Tree House Project.

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Chapter 3: The Sky's The Limit!

The next morning the four friends arrived early at school. James ran past the playground in the park, not even bothering to test the swing. He had more important things to do! Looking both ways at the road by the park, he sprinted through the gravel at the front of the school, spraying rocks behind him.

Tim, Tom & Ben were waiting outside of the classroom. Together, they walked over to the side of the playground where they would not be overheard.

“It’s gonna be the most awesome tree house!” said James.

“What should it look like?” asked Tim.

“The sky’s the limit!” replied Ben. “We can build anything we want. We have lots of wood at our house, ‘cuz Dad just tore down the old fence and put up a new one. Enough to build a castle!”

“We have plenty of nails and some hammers,” offered James.

“We’ve got some rope and a couple saws,” said Tom.

“Don’t you want to draw a plan or something?” asked Tim.

“Nah, we’ll just make up the design as we go,” said Ben. “It’s better that way.”

Tim looked uncertain but decided not to say anything more.

“We can start after school!” said James.

“We can meet at my house,” said Ben, “and carry over some of the boards to get started. Tom, you and Tim bring the ropes so we can start on the rope ladder.”

They kept talking about how great the tree house was going to be until the bell rang. They quickly headed over to Miss Oliver’s class to get there before the second bell. Nobody wanted detention today!


After school, the kids each ran off toward their homes. James’ house was right across the road from the park, and he gave the swing a playful tug as he went past. No time for swings today!

He entered through the garage side door and pulled off his shoes without untying them. His Mom kept telling him “untie your shoes, you are going to ruin them!” He didn’t care – they still had most of their shininess and he figured stretching them would help break them in.

He ran into the kitchen to grab a quick snack before he headed to the tree. Tree house building was going to be hard work, and he needed some energy!

His Mom greeted him in the kitchen. “How was your day, honey?” she asked.

“Great! Well, school was ok I guess,” replied James as he opened the pantry door. He pulled out a plastic container full of blueberry muffins and unclipped the lid. He selected one, crammed it halfway into his mouth and closed the lid. He put the container back on the shelf and closed the door.

“Learn anything?” asked his Mom.

“Nyuuhuhh” mumbled James through a mouthful of muffin. He swallowed and added “I’m going to play with Tim, Tom & Ben for a while, ok?”

“That’s fine. Be back before dinner, and remember you have to do your homework before bed,” said his Mom.

“Yes Mom!” called James over his shoulder as he ran down the hall to the garage. He rummaged around in the cupboard beside his Dad’s workbench until he found what he was looking for.

There were five bags of brand new nails sitting on the middle shelf. James grabbed one of the heavy bags and stuffed it into his pocket. He slipped his feet back into his already-tied shoes and headed out the door towards Ben’s house, which was on the same street and five doors down.


When he arrived at Ben’s house, his friends were waiting for him. They all went round the back to where the wood was piled up.

“Dad said we can take any of the wood we want!” said Ben, as he picked up one of the top boards. “He said the old nails have either been pulled out or bashed in, so they are safe for us to use.”

There were different sizes of boards resting in neat piles – long, thick ones that used to be the fence posts, long skinny ones that used to be the top and bottom rails, and several stacks of wide, thin boards that were slightly taller than James. Those ones were the old fence slats.

“Awesome!” cried Tim.

“We can build a huge tree house with all this stuff!” agreed Tom.

“Did you bring the rope?” asked Ben.

“Sure did!” said Tim. He pulled a jumbled mass of thin rope out of his jacket.

“Dad said we could have it but we need to untangle it ourselves.” said Tom.

“I’ve got the nails!” said James, and pulled the heavy bag out of his pocket. “But I forgot the hammer.”

“We’re ready to go!” said Ben. “Everyone grab some boards and we’ll start taking them over to the tree.”

They tried picking up the old fence posts, but they were very heavy. Tim and Tom picked up one of the old fence rails at each end, while Ben and James went to one of the slat piles and picked up three of them at once, one of them at each end. They left the backyard, went through the gate and checked both ways before crossing the street.

They carried the boards to the end of the park and stopped. Ben looked around carefully to make sure no one was watching, and then he signaled to enter the forest. They didn’t want anyone finding their tree!

By the time they reached the tree, all four boys were getting tired. The bag of nails was poking James in the stomach.

“My hands hurt!” whined Tim.

“I think I have a splinter” moaned James.

“These boards are heavy!” groaned Tom.

“Stop whining,” growled Ben. “or we’ll never get started building!”

They dropped the boards under the tree with a thump, narrowly missing Tom’s foot. James placed the bag of nails on the ground beside the tree. No point in carrying that heavy bag back again!

Tim dropped the tangle of thin rope beside the nails.

They returned to Ben’s house for another load. They managed two more deliveries of boards to the tree before Ben’s mother called him in for dinner.

James could hear his mother calling from a few doors down.

 “Cripes, I’ve got to go!” cried James.

“Us too!” echoed Tim & Tom. They lived just around the corner.

“See you all tomorrow!” yelled Ben as he disappeared inside.

James ran home with a smile on his face. This was going to be awesome!

Contents | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 << | >> Chapter 4

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