It usually took two or three tries to get Jody out of bed on schooldays, but weekends were a totally different story. He was always up before daylight watching cartoons. He wasn’t supposed to go outdoors before Mom and Dad got up but today, it was impossible to resist. Rain had been coming down all week, so the ditches were muddy rivers, a perfect day for adventure. Jody put on Dad’s rubber knee boots and plenty of warm clothes. The boots came way up Jody’s thighs, all the better to keep him dry.
He and Spotty, his little dog, were on their way. Jody threw a stick for Spotty and it landed in the overflowing ditch. Spotty leapt after it and had to swim for her life. The stick bobbed out of sight in an instant and Spotty was done chasing sticks. They needed a boat! There were plenty of wood scraps in Dad’s shop. Jody found just what he needed for his boat and constructed a sail out of a scrap of plastic. Fastening it to his kite string reel, they headed back to the ditches!
A quick study, this time Spotty watched cautiously from the side as Jody launched his boat. It bobbed and twirled madly downstream. Jody reeled it back in and set it off time after time. Spotty barked wildly and chased it from the bank.
This was great for a while, but the boat really needed a captain. GI Joe might be a great soldier, but not such a great a sailor. As soon as the boat hit the water, it tipped and Joe went straight to the bottom. Jody felt it was fortunate he was in Dad’s tall boots and could get Joe without getting wet. As he waded in to the ditch, the boots mired in the deep mud. With each step, the mud sucked at the heavy boots. Jody’s feet grew heavier, the ditch deeper, and the bottom softer. After a few steps, the boots filled with cold water and buried deep in the mud. Jody wasn’t going anywhere! He called for help. No one was out this early. He was freezing by now!! Spotty was running and barking, but that didn’t help. Just before he turned into an iceberg, a neighbor kid who had also slipped out to play in the muddy ditches came to the rescue. He ran to Jody’s house and beating on his door, till his surprised mom answered.
“Lady! Your kid’s stuck in the ditch!!!”
“What? It’s too early for kids to be out!! It’s cold and nasty, besides!” Just then she heard the caterwauling. There was Jody, thigh deep in the muddy ditch, bawling his head off. Off she went, pulling Jody out of the deep water, and leaving the boots stuck in the mud. Needless to say, Jody was more than thigh-deep in trouble. Several days later, his dad had to get the shovel to dig his boots out. GI Joe gave his life for the cause.