Stay Away From the Mud Puddles

| 6/30/2017 2:06:00 PM

Diana G

I don’t rightly remember exactly how old I was, but it was probably when I was about 4. Mama and I were living in a little two-roomed house up Ford’s Creek on one of the hills behind Orofino, Idaho. I remember we had a hand pump for water at the kitchen sink, a wood cookstove that also heated the house in the winter, and I took my baths in a big old galvanized tub in the middle of the kitchen floor. We also had an outhouse, or honey hut as we used to call them, for our bathroom privileges. And that small little "house" is what fueled this story. Below is a picture of me when I was about 4 — obviously not playing in the mud puddle!

Diana Age 4

My Uncle had come over with some other men to help mama by moving the outhouse for us. They moved the old outhouse building and dug the new hole, using the dirt from the new hole to fill up the old hole, and placed the building over the new hole. And, as is normal for dirt, as soon as it hit the water it quickly became mud and sank to the bottom of the old hole, so they had to find some extra dirt to finish filling in the hole. Since we lived out in the country, there was no shortage of dirt to add to the old outhouse hole.

My aunt had come along and brought her youngest son so we could play. He and I always had fun playing together, so she and mama did not foresee today being any different. And it wasn’t — to us, anyway. To our mothers, however, you would have thought it was the end of the world by the time that day was over!

To start things off, as we ran around playing we got hot, so we stripped down to our undies. It was still quite warm. And then we saw it: this huge mud puddle in front of the house. And it was glorious in our eyes! Being too young to know anything, it never dawned on us that the rest of the yard was bone dry and throwing dust everywhere whenever anyone walked across it. And, of course, it hadn’t rained. It was probably close to 80 or 90 degrees out there. We just saw this fantastically big mud puddle. You know, like in the cartoons when the star character's eyes pop out of their head, and the item they are looking at is set inside this huge star while music blares loudly, making it appear like heaven on earth. That is exactly what it was to us — heaven on earth! So we decided to go play in that mud puddle. Being so young, we didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to smell funny! We probably didn’t even realize it smelled funny. I mean, it was just a mud puddle after all!

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