WEDNESDAY: The Flood

BY ISOLDE RYAN

Copyright is held by the author.

GROWING UP in Germany, we lived across the street from the river. It was a small one and at times had very little water. It had a waterfall that we would climb and in the summer, we blew up the tubes from truck tires and ride down the lazy river. The river was my every-day playground, and most of the neighbourhood children would play there. We would catch fish and see who could get the most or we would make clay vases out of the mud from river bed.

Every year in the spring we would have a lot of rain and with the melting snow from the Black Forest Mountains we would have a severe flood with raging water coming down to our favourite place to play. My mother warned us never to go over there while it was flooded.

One afternoon my grandmother, who lived at the other end of our little town, came on her bicycle for a visit. Without a second to think I took her bike and left the driveway, but only got to the next corner when I realized that I would get into big trouble for what I had done. I was standing on the sidewalk thinking what my next move should be, and decided to just leave the bike leaning up against a neighbour’s fence instead of returning it to our driveway. Then I resumed my little adventure into a part of our village I had never been before.

While walking I saw a dog tied up in front of a farmer’s barn. He was barking at me and didn’t look very friendly. I just stood there looking at him for a while and he stopped his barking and looked back at me. After a while I went closer and closer till I had reached the dog who seemed happy to be petted. I spend some time playing with him, and was still with him when the owners came home. They were very shocked that I was playing with their dog. They told me that he did not like anybody and was dangerous. I had a hard time believing that, and we started conversation, they seemed like nice people and asked me if I was hungry.

We had a nice afternoon snack in their kitchen and they seemed to be enjoying my company immensely. During our chat, I found out that they had no children and kept mostly to themselves, working their fields and taking care of their animals. My sudden visit was somewhat of a treat in their everyday life. Not only did they have fun with me, but I also enjoyed their undivided attention, something that was rare at my home where I was one of seven children. My day with them was fun, but after looking at all of their animals and  after enjoying an awesome dinner, it was getting dark and the lady said, “I think you should go home before your mom is starts to worry.”

I thanked them for the fun day and told them I would love to come back again. They smiled and said, “Anytime.”

I walked back home as fast as I could, and when I got to the corner by my house I saw a huge crowd of people standing on the bridge looking into the river. The fire department with their trucks, the police, and men with large poles poking the water.

I thought to myself, what has happen here?

I walked towards the crowd and asked one of the people watching what was going on. Without even looking at me, he replied, “A seven-year-old child went missing and they think she fell into the raging waters of the river.”

I was shocked, as I was seven years old too, and most likely must have known that missing child. I spotted my mom and dad in the crowd and walked over to them, they seemed very upset. I took my moms hand and asked her, “Who is the kid that fell in the river?” She started crying and picked me up, and whispered in my ear, “I thought it was you.”

My grandmother’s bike had been found by the corner, close to the bridge, and everyone had assumed I went to look at the river and got swept away.Within minutes the search was called off and everyone was happy it had ended like this; that I was found safe.

My parents had a lot of explaining to do, but not as much as I did when we got home!

8 comments

  1. june chambers

    Oh.. Isolde you are a natural story teller. I had to keep on reading about this delightful little girl!
    June

  2. Megan Curran

    Awwwww, your poor parents!!! What a fantastic story with such a happy ending. Thank you for you beautiful stories and please keep writing them!!

  3. Brenda Short

    Reminds me of my own childhood in Scotland, spending summers playing in the local river. We didn’t need expensive toys, only a bag of marbles or something similar and when your stomach began to rumble, that’s when you went home. Lovely story Isolde – thank you for the memories.

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