Down the Rabbit Hole

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We all stared at the small hole surrounded by rocks. It looked like a rabbit hole. We were Group #1 and our first activity the first morning of the camping trip was caving. We were about to go down this rabbit hole.
My classmates had mixed looks of fear, excitement, and anticipation on their faces. We had been in a bus for the last few hours and even students who were afraid of caving were ready to go in. I couldn’t wait and asked Mr. Duveen if I could go first, but before he could answer, the caving counselors swooped in and began to review the safety procedures.
“You may think you won’t fit down the hole, but many grown men have fit without trouble,” Eliza informed us. She proceeded to check our helmets and tell us how we must have three points of contact, two legs and one arm or two arms and one leg making contact with the walls or ground, in the cave at all times.
“Once you enter the hole, sit down on the rock you are standing on and slide to the edge. Then, turn on your flashlights and lower yourself to the ground. After you are sturdy, head down into the first cavern to wait for the rest of your classmates. I will go down first then talk you through it from below,” Eliza instructed.
Ben went down first because he had caved before. We all watched as he disappeared down the rabbit hole.
“Katherine, you’re next,” said Mr. Duveen. My stomach filled with butterflies and before those butterflies turned to stone and give me that sinking feeling of fear, I walked up to the hole and without another thought shouted,
“Here I come!” and stepped down into the hole. I lowered myself down into it as someone might lower herself into a cold pool. My feet hit a flat stone and I slid down to sit on it. From there I could see Eliza standing a few feet away on the ground and heard her say, “Now, turn on your flashlight, shimmy down the rock, and lower yourself to the ground.” I did so and my feet hit the gravelly flooring. I could still see because the light from the hole gave me a backlight and Ben was shining his light up the tunnel toward me.
“This is so cool!” I shouted back up the rabbit hole to my classmates. I looked around the cave and then walked to where Ben was sitting. He turned his light away from me for a second to look at the cave and I couldn’t see my feet.
Was my flashlight on? I thought I had turned it on. I reached up and pressed the “On/Off” button. It got slightly darker around me. It had been on before and now it was off. Dougie came down the rabbit hole and walked toward us with his flashlight on. I could see again.
I was in a cave darker than the darkest dark I had ever seen and my flashlight was so weak I could barely see my hand in front of my face, much less my feet. Luckily, one by one my classmates came down the rabbit hole and the cave got lighter. Maybe my flashlight did not work and maybe I had to rely on my classmates to see, but I was still here. I was down the rabbit hole.





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penguin35 said...
Nov. 2, 2009 at 2:33 pm
Cool, that sounds fun! I want to try caving! :) I like the title of this piece. I immediately thought of Alice and Wonderland, and then I wanted to read it to find out what it was about.
 
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