Friday, May 8, 2009

A Most Disgusting Story

I've mentioned this before, but until I was 12 years old, I grew up on a ranch in Arizona. My family was one of four that lived on the ranch, which included many cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents. From my perspective, it was a great life. Here is a picture of my family when I was about 11 years old. (I am the one holding my sister Sharon) It was this particular summer, where my story begins.
We let our imaginations run wild, while playing on the ranch. There were these funny old rusted machinery parts of cars, wagons, and other devices that served as our spaceships for our adventures into outer space. They also made great jungle gyms. There were many levels of the hay-filled barn that begged for games like Hide-and-Go-Seek and Freeze Tag. We had a gigantic rope swing and tree houses that amused us for hours. We spent days and days gathering up tadpoles from the frog pond, only to get in trouble when my mom would find hundreds of frogs hopping around our yard. But on really hot summery days, we'd meet up with our cousins at the swimming pond.
It was located about a mile from our house, sheltered in the nook of a hill. It boasted lots of water snakes, dragonflies, frogs, and even more squirmy creatures that we couldn't see. It got deep enough in the middle that we couldn't imagine touching the bottom, nor did we want to. We swam in blissful innocence, not caring that the water was too murky and dirty and most likely harboring more bacteria than should ever be found in one place. Above all, it was nice and cool. A perfect remedy when running through the sprinkler, or being thrown across the slip and slide by an older cousin, wasn't enough.
On this particular day, most of my cousins joined my siblings and I as we splashed around the pond. We were having a great time cooling off, when someone said they just kicked something big and hairy under the water. We all screamed and paddled out of the water as quickly as we could. "What do we do?" "What's under the water?" "We are going to be eaten alive!" We all voiced our opinions.
One of my cousins ventured back into the water. Without all the splashes and ripples, he could see under the surface a few feet. There, completely covered by three feet of water, was a cow. A very dead cow. How long had it been there? We couldn't tell you, but we had swam in that pond all summer long and hadn't noticed it. We had blown bubbles in that water. We had halfway drown in that water. I'm sure many people had peed in that water. We all sat there, staring at the cow, and wondering just how disgusting our little swimming hole was.
While one of the older cousins went to get one of our uncles, we felt the sun beating on our backs again. It was hot. The water was much cooler. Soon, all of us were back in the pond, swimming away. Surely if we stayed away from the part that had the dead cow, we would be ok. I remember blissfully swimming and splashing happily, as my uncle used one of the tractors and a smart-looking pulley system to heave the cow from the depths of the pond. It looked very mutated and gross, but we turned our backs on it and kept on swimming.
Yes, we were gross, disgusting, and dirty children. I'm surprised we didn't harbor some sort of mutancy from all the bacteria we digested that summer. However, with all fondness, we forever remember that pond as "the pond with the dead cow in it"...and we kept on swimming in it.

14 comments:

courtney said...

I was too young to get to experience that swimming hole, but I do remember the old metal equipment that we would play on and the huge swing, and hay filled barn...good old care free days!

dippyrooroo said...

Oh my gosh! That is a most disgusting story! I was raised half farm kid, but still, I don't think I would be able to swim in the dead cow pond. Even before there was the dead cow, I'm not sure I'd be able to get in past my knees.

Sharon said...

gross.

"Hello... It's Me Again..." said...

G R O S S . . . .

I'm surprised you didn't die of Mad Cow Disease!!!!

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Carolann said...

Oh-My-Grossness!!!!!!!!! THis is the very reason I don't swim in water I can't see the bottom of. Ewwwwww!!!

runningfan said...

Ah, the blissful ignorance of youth! What a great story.

teensy_dc said...

I have to say I didn't see that one coming. What a great story!! There is something to be said for the rationale of childhood! :)

Maynards said...

I would love for my kids to be able to grow up some place like that. What a giant adventure! The story however makes me want to puke. That was nasty, but really funny too.

kdaygirl said...

On a side note, Uncle Jerry did tell us not to swim in that pond anymore, however we didnt listen as all kids are prone to do.

The frog pond by our house I am sure was worse than the one by Aunt Lauries house because it was just stagnant water and not very deep.

I am not sure its worse than swimmin in the cows water tank but we did that too!

Megan said...

That is hilarious! You are a great story teller. We had a stream that ran through our yard (2 1/2 acres) and Bec and I loved to play in that as kids catching frogs and tadpoles also and walking in the sticky mud! At that age and time in our lives I don't think we thought about the bacteria that could be lerking there also.

Elise said...

OMG, I think I'm dry heaving. Yuck!!! Doesn't it make you sick thinking about all the stuff we endured voluntarily as kids. How did we all survive?

FORD RULES said...

That really is disgusting. I would never have gone back. Imagine what your kids will get into. I just remember throwing mud at the buffalo wollow it may have been mud?

Shavonne said...

I waded in the pond, but don't remember swimming in it (maybe it was banned after finding the dead cow). I think that is absolutely disgusting!! I am apalled and amused that you guys kept swimming in it

I'm Always Rite said...

Maybe that's where you got your super powers! I knew it! You are a mutant! Mutated from a dead cow infested pond teeming with bacteria from the farest reaches of the universe! ;)

PS You should totally write a book filled with short stories like this one! ;)