John had to be booted out of bed on schooldays, but weekends were a totally different story. Always up before daylight watching cartoons, he wasn’t supposed to go outdoors before we got up. Today, he couldn’t resist. It had been raining for days, so the ditches were muddy rivers. Adventure called his name as he helped himself to his dad’s rubber knee boots. which were thigh-high on him, all the better to keep him dry.
He and Spotty, his little dog, were on their way. The sticks he tossed into the swirling ditch quickly bobbed out of sight. Spotty leapt after one and had to swim for her life, finishing that game off for her. John realized they needed a boat and constructed one of wood scraps. Fastening it to his kite string reel, they headed back to the ditches!
Much wiser now, Spotty watched cautiously from the side as John launched his boat. It bounced and twirled madly downstream. He 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. John 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. His 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. John 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 beat on his door, till I 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 I heard the caterwauling. There was John, thigh deep in the muddy ditch, bawling his head off. I pulled John out of the deep water, leaving the boots mired in the mud. Needless to say, John 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.