Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Hole--Part 2

... We dug for days and our hole got deeper and bigger around. Mama said, "You kids scoop out some steps in the side to climb up and down so you can carry the dirt out in a scrub bucket. I don't like all that dirt on my clean pillow cases." (We'd tried to throw the dirt out after a few days, but most of it fell back and landed in our hair.) Then, of course, we hollowed out some niches in the other side to keep some cold biscuits with butter and jelly. We needed refreshment often.

News of the big hole at 618 South 18th Street swept our neighborhood. Some of our bored friends peered over the sides. "Hey, Ruth, whatcha doin' down there?"

"Just diggin'."

"We ain't got nothin' to do. Can we help you dig?"

"Well--go home and get your shovels and your own biscuits and jelly."

"Our Mama don't make no biscuits."

"Then get your own store-bought bread."

"Okay. We'll be back soon."

Since our friends got so interested, Art and I began to get plenty of free labor. We could sit on the grass sometimes beside the ever-widening hole, line friends up and direct them all to take turns digging. We even got bighearted and brought out some cold water for them to drink. We also said, "You can use our privy, but don't waste too many pages in the catalog." Art and I were BOSSES OF THE HOLE.

When rain poured down, our platoon had more fun. The Hole was so deep we waded knee-high in the water and thought we might be close enough to Hell to put out some of the fire. On several occasions, I ordered, "Now everybody be QUIET! Listen for the sizzle!"

Then we'd have to become a bucket brigade to get rid of the water, and the path to the privy got slicker. We could slide to it.

The Big Hole took up most of our time that summer. We never did find Hell or China, but we had a lot of fun. The Hole got so big we could sit down there and have a bread and jelly party. Sometimes we even had peanut butter. But when it was nearly time for school to start again, Daddy told us, "Okay, kids. That's a pretty nice lookin' Hole and it's kept you kids out of trouble all summer, but now it's time to fill'er up."

Daddy even planted the grass.

-- Mama Ruth


Kristy Dykes said...

What a great story. Too bad our kids today sit in front of the TV or hand-held video games. They don't know what they're missing. Psychologists call it independent, creative play.

CHickey said...

Wonderful stories. I wish kids were as innocently inventive today as they were in years past. That story would make a great scene in a book.

Nick said...

I like it. I can almost envision a children's picture book!

rose mccauley said...

Ruth, I loved this and wish you would do a children's picture book so I could get it for my grandkids. Have you got any artists in your talented family? love, rose

Ruth Seamands said...

Rose, Nick, Chickey and Christy: Thanks for comments. How long a book do you think this should be? I have an artist granddaughter who is now 13 and I bet she could do it.If you have any other suggestions, please email me.Thanks, Mama Ruth

Christina Berry said...

I know I'm a day late, but wanted to add in that I loved the story! Mama Ruth, you have a unique way of putting words together and your conversation has such texture! Nick, I'd buy a HH published version of this. :-)