Monday, January 10, 2011

The Old Swimming Hole in Texas

          My husband grew up in the country near Fort Worth, Texas. Their dad was foreman on a cattle ranch, so Charlie and his brothers, Ed and George, had endless land to play on—they could shoot squirrels and rabbits, trap coons (and sometimes get a skunk), and swim bare-naked in the creek, which they dearly loved to do.
            Ed was the oldest, then Charlie, then little George, who wanted so much to be like his big brothers. Ed and Charlie had learned to swim, but George was too little. They took the sled that they used to pull wood to the house, and George laid his body on that in the water. He floated while his brothers and their friends swam and played.   
           The boys and their friends would run to the creek, strip off their clothes, and take turns jumping in by using a long limber branch of one of the trees. What fun it was to drop into the cold water. George took his sled and went in from the bank, sliding in and staying close to the edge, as his brothers had told him to do.
            Then one day, as one of the boys jumped into the water, he accidentally upset the sled and George fell off. He didn’t know how to right himself. He struggled, trying to get hold of the sled again, but kept going down again and again. The other boys didn’t notice for a minute, then someone saw the empty wooden sled and said, “Where’s George?”
            Panic set in as the boys dove down in the deeper muddy water, searching frantically for their youngest companion. When one of the boys found him and drug him up on the bank, they all crowded around, each wearing his birthday suit, each trying to see what they could do to help.
            They had no idea what to do, but they rolled George over on his stomach and began hitting his back and pumping his arms. When water began to come out of his mouth and George coughed, those were some happy boys. They knew he would be all right.
            It was several years before their mother heard about it, though. They knew that if they told her, she would not allow them to go to the swimming hole again. George was all right, so Ed and Charlie kept it to themselves, and threatened George within an inch of his life if he told. Their parents didn'd hear about this little experience until all of the boys were grown.
This is a story from my book, "A Heritage of Faith". Click on the button to see how you can order it by direct mail.

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