Tales From the Farm

The John Boat Experience

It was summertime in the hills of Kentucky, which meant my brother and I were outdoors. It was either be outdoors under the shade the woods provided, or indoors where central A/C was a foreign object and we could quite possibly get sucked into the attic fan in my brothers' room. The fan pulled air so hard through the house, it was scary!

After wandering around one afternoon, my brother Scott and I asked my mom for some help on finding something to do. I'm sure it sounded something like this: (thick Southern accent here) "Mama, we're BOOOOORED!". This particular day mom's idea was for us to carry our little john boat down to the "pond" and go "canoeing". We, of course, thought this was a FABULOUS idea; and quickly ran to the barn to dig out the boat. I'm sure it was buried under all kinds of interesting things in there....I'd rather not think about it.

So, here we were, two little kids struggling to carry this metal boat over our heads and down the hill to the "pond". After what seemed like FOREVER (and I'm sure was only a handful of minutes), and a few drags through the mud, we were here. Our afternoon of bliss. Our boating adventure. We quickly hopped in the boat, so excited to be on our way to expert boatmen. Boatwomen. Boatkids. Aquatic Professionals. Whatever.

We're paddling, paddling, paddling; then all of the sudden "crash! smash! nails on a chalkboard noise! (cattails scratching the sides of the boat)." It seemed that our "pond" was nothing more than a glorified puddle. A sinkhole filled with water. A hole in my heart. But we were not dismayed! We simply reversed positions, and "STROKE! STROKE! STRO"-crash! smash!...we had now arrived at the north end of the "pond". Again, we were not dismayed. we reversed positions, and continued on our journey through the muck.

I'm not sure how long we continued this back and forth process, but eventually, our trusty john boat began to fill with water. Being the girl in this situation, I began to panic. Even though our "pond" wasn't really a pond, it was oddly deep and over my head. As my heroic brother was so frantically trying to bail out the water, I was concerned with getting my feet on dry land as soon as possible. Being the sweet brother he was, Scott paddled enough to get me to the bank just before the unthinkable happened. The trusty john boat sank, and took my brother down with it! While the entire time this tragedy is happening, I was screaming bloody murder for my mom. Soon enough, Scott's head popped up from under the nasty greenish brown murky gag-me water.

He was standing up, his feet stuck in the mud below the waters surface. Ol' Trusty John Boat was stuck in the mud below the water as well. My mom came running, and helped pull my brother out of the mud. I'm sure my dad came home that evening, driving up the dirt road to our house, and was perplexed to see the corner of a familiar john boat sticking out of a really big puddle.
He never asked what happened, and I never returned to the "pond".


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