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In Deep Waters
Ohboyohboyohboyohboy! I could not wait to get out of the bunks and finally do something!
The GT week for marine biology had started out wonderfully, and could only get better, or so I thought. On Wednesday, we went to the pond to do some mucking for bugs. I decided to watch some other kids do it until I was the only one who hadn’t gone.
Asking if anybody wanted to go a second time, my camp counselor, Katie, handed me something that looked like giant rubber overalls with over-sized boots connected to them. To top it off, they were a hideous olive-green color. Gross!! I thought. If I had to use one word to describe this,I would call it repulsive, or maybe EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWY!
“They’re waders,” she explained flatly, obviously having seen the look I had on my face. “Come on. Hurry up. Your partner is already in the water.” Who would want to do this again?
Gulp. I pulled on the giant green waders. They covered my entire body and ended just under my eyes. Holding the waders up with both hands, I took a few steps into the pond.
“Be careful,” Katie told me as I went in. “There might be a snake in there.”
My partner and I both started kicking up the mixture of water, dirt, dead bugs, and something other mysterious, green, gooey component of this concoction to find the repulsive live bugs that live in that muck. Suddenly, my left foot slipped out from under me. Having no balance, I went under the surface of the water. I gasped, hoping to get some air before I became totally immersed. Unfortunately, I inhaled too late.
The ice- cold, semi- brown sludge from the pond whooshed into my waders as well as my lungs. I quickly shut my mouth so that the murky water couldn’t enter my body again.
Arms flailing, I tried to push myself to the surface, but my legs and feet were cement. Trying to lift my right foot just enough to put me two inches closer, I pushed down as hard as I could on the sludge, only resulting in getting my foot lodged into the mud, right under a rock the size of a large radio. My ankle was tickled every time I tried moving my foot. It felt like a feather was moving back and forth on my ankle, but I knew it wasn’t so. While I didn’t know what it was, I could only hope it wasn’t the snake, or something even worse that I couldn’t even imagine.
I looked up to see everyone frantically waving their arms at me. I saw there mouths moving, but couldn’t hear what was being called out to me. I was alarmed that I couldn’t return their calls.
This is it. I thought. I’m going to die. I can’t hold my breath any longer.
As I was about to take my final breath, my life flashed before my eyes, but so did something else.
What the heck!?
Again the thing came before my face. Positive that it was the pond snake, I tried slapping it away, but as that happened, the snake’s hand grabbed mine!!!!!
Wait a minute, snake don’t have hands. They could never-
Before I could finish my thought, my partner pulled me up with super-human strength. There was no snake, only him reaching down to pull me up.
“It’s o.k. It’s all over,” Katie told me as soon as I was out of the pond.
Still coughing, gasping, and wheezing, I responded, saying, “Not quite. I’m still breathing.”