How deep is it? It is rumoured that a workman’s hut, telegraph pole and even an old yellow Bulldozer lay hidden in its murky depth. We certainly didn’t know, nor did we care.
Stories of monster Fish, that waited hidden in lairs for a meal to pass by, Animals, drawn by thirst to the water’s edge, soon found themselves stuck in the squelching, sucking clay, death soon followed.
The spirit of childhood adventure erased the thought of such stories from our minds.
On a hot Summer’s Day the cool water of the Marl-hole beckoned. It was a magnet, and us Kids, oblivious to its hidden dangers, were powerless to resist its pull.
After a long Day in the classroom, we would race home, skipping and hollowing with joy, free at last. Yippee! Yahoo!
Once Home, we would hurriedly change out of our School clothes into our scruffs. Ignoring warnings from our Mothers, we’d race out of the door back into the unsupervised outdoors.
With Skylarks rising in song above the golden wheat, across the fields we’d go.
The excitement evident in our voices.
” I wonder if any big Boys are there.” Said Picnic.
” Hope not, and if those fishermen are there, we’ll just stone their floats.” Proclaimed Bomma.
Yeah! Or torch the Gorse.” Agreed Picnic.
The Marl-hole was deserted, the only sound was that of a singing Yellow-hammer and the buzz of Summer Insects.
Excitedly we ran to our chosen place on the bank, stripped to our undies and one after the other we dived in.
Picnic first. Splash! He surfaced, shook his head, and in a gasping voice egged us on to follow.
Bomma followed. A better dive. He disappeared into the clay coloured water, gone.
We scanned the still surface in silence, expecting Bomma to explode from the depths back into our World.
Was it one of those monster Fish, or was it a coil of rusty Wire-rope that held him under?
The Yellow-hammer sang and the Insects buzzed, a menacing smile rippled the Marl-hole’s surface.
Categories: Burning the Midnight Oil