“No! Not another song!” Laura whined “Scratch my back! Susie had enough songs.”
“How about the story with Amy and the big holes when you were a little girl?” Naomi chimed in.
“Amy and the holes! Amy and the holes! Amy and the holes!” Five little voices were chanting together. So I sat down on Laura’s bottom bunk, gave her back a little scratch and drifted back in time, I was about 9 years old.
“Amy's family lived in the woods at the end of the street, every day after school I would rush down to her house to play. She had bunnies, dogs, Cabbage Patch Kids and her very own forest. When it was raining we would play Clue or Monopoly, but if the weather was nice we would go exploring in the forest.
Something was wrong. Someone had cut down a bunch of trees and had made a huge clearing in the woods. The leaves on the fallen trees were still fresh and green, and the sawdust was still in piles, we say foot prints, but there were no people. We investigated for a few minutes and then we decided to build a fort with some of the timbers. We didn't really know the way home, but that’s when we heard the train. We knew that we were near the railroad. If we could just find the train tracks we could find our way home. And that is what we did. We were home just in time for dinner.
A few days later Amy and I decided to go looking for the big clearing in the woods again, so we could work on our fort some more. We were both good explorers and it didn’t take long to rediscover the spot. But something was wrong. There was now a huge hole in the clearing! It was as big as a house! There were foot prints in the sandy soil, but there were no people. So we played in the hole, and worked on the fort until dinner time.
The next day we returned to the clearing. We were surprised to see that some one had dug another hole just as big as the first one! One hole for each of us! We played in the holes and worked on the fort until dinner time.
The next few days were stormy, so we had to stay inside. It was almost a week before we could go back to the holes and to our new fort. When we went back to see the holes something was wrong! The holes were full of water. Our holes had turned into ponds! Guess what we did? We went swimming! The water wasn’t very deep, and we didn’t stay in long because Amy was worried about quick sand. If Amy was worried I was worried too.
The next day I told my sister about the holes, and she told us never to go there again. a couple weeks had passed when one day we had a great idea. We were going to go hunting for Big Daddy deep in the woods. Big Daddy was the legendary box turtle that roamed the forest. Amy’s grandpa said that his shell was three feet across and he was 100 years old. We didn’t see Big Daddy. So we went back to the ponds. Something was wrong! There was still water in the ponds but both of the ponds were covered with green scum. Yuck! No swimming! Then we discovered something amazing. Tadpoles! We had always wanted pet frogs, so we decided to make some plans.
The next day we got two jars and went back to the ponds to collect some tadpoles, we wanted to watch them turn into frogs. But when we arrived something was wrong! There were some broken chairs, an old lamp, and a few boxes of clothing beside the pond, and more foot prints, but there were no people. We rummaged through the small pile of stuff, it pretty much looked like trash. We pretended that it was lost treasure. We took the best stuff to our fort and put a few of the tadpoles in our jars.
the next few days were rainy and we were happy to stay inside and watch the tadpoles turn into frogs. One day we looked at our little frogs and noticed that they didn't have tails anymore, so we decided to take them back to the ponds so they could find their family. When we got to the ponds something was wrong! First of all the holes were filled to the top with water, and there was a huge mountain of stuff beside the ponds. There were couches, shoes, doorknobs, stuffed animals, boxes, ugly dresses, old blankets, hats, mattresses, broken lamps, dishes and jewelry made out of shells, more foot prints, but no people. We quickly let the frogs go and decided to pretend we were Tom Sawyer and Huck Fin. We pushed a box spring mattress to the edge of the pond and put a box of supplies on our new “raft”. I climbed on first and Amy gave the raft a push as she quickly jumped on. We spent the rest of the day floating around the pond, until dinner time.
A few days later we packed some food and headed for the ponds for another adventure, but when we arrived, something was wrong! Someone had put all the stuff into the two ponds! We looked around, we saw more foot prints, but no people. We grabbed a few interesting things from the edge of the ponds and put them into the fort. We played Swiss Family Robinson until dinner time.
A few days later we decided to go check on the ponds and all the stuff. When we got to the clearing in the woods something was wrong! There were no holes, no ponds, no stuff, no logs, no mattresses, no hats, just foot prints and of course no people! Just a big clearing in the woods, and two big mounds of dirt! Just two fine hills, one for each of us. We sat on our hills wondering what had happened to all the stuff, and then we remembered our fort! There on the edge of the clearing was our fort and all our stuff! We looked at all the old stuff, most of it was broken trash, but we each picked out or favorite thing. I don’t remember what Amy kept, but I brought a necklace made of shells home with me.
Amy and I never understood why anyone cut down those trees, or why they dug the holes, or why they buried all that stuff. The adventure was over. We didn’t return to the clearing ever again. We went looking for it once but we couldn't even find it. What we did find was a snake, Amy said it was a rattle snake. She ran home as fast as she could, and I ran too, and we got home just in time for dinner.
By the time I finished the story, three of my little girls were sleeping, but not three year-old Joseph “Again! Again!” He pleaded. He was so adorable that I gave in and told him the story two or three more times until he fell asleep.