Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Last Assignment

For my latest assignment I had to choose a place from my childhood and describe it as I remember it. I chose the pond on our property in Connecticut. I was about 7. I have a confession--I procrastinated until the VERY last minute! I usually don't leave myself tons of time, but this time I was forced to write it in a single night. Oops. Good thing I'm not teaching anymore...I'd feel like a real hypocrite! Sorry the font's so tiny; thought I'd save some space. Anyway, the description is simple on purpose. Remember this is from a 7-year-old's perspective. Let me know what you think!

The Scary Pond

Usually I loved water, but the pond was different. I trotted down to the edge of the yard, my steps getting slower and slower as I got closer to the pond. I could already smell the water. It smelled almost... rotten. I stood still in our freshly mowed yard, watching as a little breath of wind wobbled the long grass ahead of me. Boy, what tall grass! It was all the way up to my shoulders! And I was tall for a seven-year-old!

I jerked a milkweed pod off of its stem as I began walking down the one little strip of mowed grass that led to the pond. The pod leaked a little in my hand–kind of thin, whitish stuff. I wiped it on my jeans and paused on the path to open the bumpy, brown pod. I held it up and shook it hard in the air above my head. Hundreds of silky, white wisps floated out, their brown seeds leading them away in the breeze.

I continued on the path, bravely sticking my arm out into that long, thick grass as I walked. It was so light and soft, like tons of little, thin feathers! I called, "Cheep! Cheep!" to the noisy birds all around me. They didn’t like that, I guess, because a whole flock of them darted like a flash from an ancient oak tree across the water. I scanned all around the pond to see if any more birds would flee. But there were just trees, trees, and more giant trees. I thought those trees must be pretty friendly; they all kept swishing their leaves against one another, like they were shaking hands.

Oops! Yuck–mud! I didn’t even notice how close I was to the water’s edge! My shoes made funny sucking noises when I stepped out of the sludgy mud and back onto the grass. There it was...the scary pond. It was scary because it never, ever moved. There were no waves on the pond, and no fish. It was just flat and still, all the time. And it was covered in yucky green scum. What was that stuff, anyway? Was it seeds? Was it mold? Boy, did it SMELL moldy!

Suddenly, I heard something. "Br-r-r-a-a-u-g-h!" I covered my mouth and tried not to giggle. Those silly frog croaks sounded just like Uncle Steve’s burps! I looked out across the pond, trying to find the frog. I had never actually seen one yet. I checked to the left, but I couldn’t see the pond’s edge; the high grass and stiff cattails were in the way. I gave up on the frog and pulled a cattail easily out of the soft mud. I held it way out over the pond, pretending I was roasting a big, fat hot dog. I tapped lightly on the "hot dog" with my fingertips, saying, "Careful! It’s hot!" It wasn’t really hot, of course. But it was smooth, and just a little bit fuzzy, too.

I tossed the cattail into the pond. It splashed and bobbed, separating all the little icky beads of scum for just a second. Then, the water was still again. I headed back down the path, feeling a little sorry for the cattail, stuck out there in the scum. But I surely wasn’t going into the scary pond to save it!


Anonymous said...

Very nice! It's great to be reading some of your childhood recollections.
Love, Papa
P.S. It wasn't scum!!