Short Story By: Shadow Summit
My mother told me to never play near the large dam in front of our house. Whether childlike rebelliousness or perhaps the lure of water adventures, my brothers and I ever took our mother’s warnings to heart.
When the dam overflowed into wetlands either side of its bank, that’s when we had the most fun. Wearing our various brightly coloured gumboots, we’d run across the large yard of green grass to the gate that led to the wetland world. I’m not sure that our gumboots ever did much to protect our feet as we waded through the deeper water. We’d always go back to the house, take off our dripping gumboots and soggy socks. We’d then sneak into the laundry and put our damp clothes in the washing basket. At the time I was sure my mother was a psychic, because even though we’d been wonderful at hiding our rebellious times in the dam, she’d come out from doing the laundry later that day and she’d raise an eyebrow at us all in the way mothers do.
“I thought I told you not to go and play in the dam,” she’d say to us.
We’d just fumble for an answer and she’d warn us not to do it again. I was later told that she’d known what we were doing the whole time. She told me she wouldn’t be much of a mother if she’d sat in a quiet house and not wondered where her five, usually loud, children were.
Wildlife was abundant at our dam which was always lots of fun. The strangest of all was when a single pelican landed on our half empty dam. Now we didn’t live near any lakes and definitely no beaches, instead we were near the mountains in a regional area. The pelican stayed for quite a while too, as he preened his white and lack feathers and glided across the surface serenely. Our dam was pretty scarce with fish so I’m pretty sure he didn’t get much of a meal, perhaps that is why he never returned.
Come to think of it, not many animals did stay around very long. My pet named Yabster was the most short-lived of all of them. It had been yet another time where lots of rain had raised the clear water over the banks. I went adventuring by myself which was worse than being with my siblings because no-one else was around me if I fell into a watery version of Alice in Wonderland. For, you see, there were many rabbit holes underneath the grassy waters just waiting for my small feet to find them. It was either rabbit holes or the yabby holes.
Anyway, thus I was able to meet my yabby friend, Yabster. It was my first time seeing a yabby up this close and I was curious to say the least. His translucent grey shell and his fascinating blue and orange claws. His antennae swayed in the clear pool and I chatted to him about the lands of the underwater world. His name was clearly given to him as I asked him to stay put while I scampered to gt my father to proudly tell him of my discovery. My father was satisfactorily intrigued and I led him to the puddle.
There sat Yabster in the exact same position I’d left him. I thanked Yabster for honouring my request of staying put and my father watched the yabby with curiosity. However, it soon became apparent that something was amiss. For except for the sway of his antennae, my yabbby showed no other signs of life. I started to think it wasn’t just because he was nervous. A stick produced no movement nor a glimmer of life. It was therefore deduced that Yabster was dead.
Our Dam held many adventures and memories, some good and some bad but the saddest of all was my one hour pet, who had decided to cark it before we’d even met.
For those who may not know ‘cark it’ is slang for die.
Anyway guys I hope you enjoyed this random story from my childhood. Ahh the days of freedom and adventures. XD
You guys are AWESOME!!