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Story ID:9973
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Gilboa New York USA
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OurEcho Preface This post deals with a mature theme or contains explicit language. While the post is not extremely violent or pornographic, it does contain language or explore a subject matter that may offend some readers. If you do not wish to view posts that deal with mature themes, please exit this post.
By Fred Wickert

The high school I attended as a boy had a tradition of taking grades nine through twelve on a picnic every spring. The kids arrived at school the usual time and went to home room just like any other day. After the attendance was taken and we had the Pledge of Allegiance, a bell rang. The bell was the signal for the teacher to usher us all outside to load on a school bus. When the buses were all loaded they traveled in a convoy to some park with a lake. Each year it was a different place than last.

When we arrived and got off the buses, the kids all dispersed to explore and see what fun could be found. Early in the trip I had been in the lake for swimming. There I had accidently flung a dead, slimy and stinky fish out of the lake, right in to the lap of the school nurse. I thought it better that I go and find something else to do.

Together with some others I discovered there were some row boats that could be rented. Myself, two other boys and two girls decided to go for a ride in a boat for a while. I had worked one summer in the state Future Farmers of America camp and there gained a lot of experience at rowing a boat, so I manned the oars. The two girls were seated in the stern of the boat. I sat in the middle working the oars, and the other two boys sat behind me. Unfortunately for one of the girls, they were facing the stern and had their backs to the bow. The girls of course were seated facing the bow and facing the three of us boys as well. Both of the girls were dressed in their swim suits.

If you understand anything about boys at all, you know that when high school boys are together and the situation is quiet and serene, it won’t stay that way for long. It isn’t anything malicious, and it isn’t meanness in any way. It’s just that boys are, well ,,,,Boys! They just can’t help it. They have to do something to make things livelier. One of the boys wondered out loud, how far that boat could rock sideways before the water could run over the sides. One of the other boys suggested we should find out. The girls protested and wanted no part of the idea, which of course with boys being boys, meant that was just what had to be done.

The boys began rocking the boat from side to side. The girls grabbed on to the sides and hung on for dear like, screaming every time the boat rose up on one side and dipped on the other. The girls were in genuine fear which of course, just goaded the boys on even more. Suddenly a puddle of water appeared under one of the girls. It was not water from the lake. The boat was a sturdy and well built craft and it was not going to ship any water over the sides.

I instantly realized what had happened. The girl had been so frightened that she wet her pants. She couldn’t help herself. I instantly felt sorry for her and I told the other boys to stop rocking the boat. I told them we had gone too far and upset the one girl too much. They too, realizing what had happened, felt sorry for her and even a little bit guilty.

The other girl felt sorry for her too, but not for long. No sooner than we had returned the boat, she was looking for the other girls to tell them what happened. The boys being boys, couldn’t wait to brag to the other boys what had been done to her. What of the poor girl? She had found herself a new name she had never been called before. The new name was Puddles. I had occasion to see that girl and a few others who had been our class mates all at the same time one day many years later. Someone referred to her as “Puddles.” She threw her hands up in the air and said, “Oh no. Aren’t I ever going to live that down?” I told he it didn’t look that way and she replied, “I guess not.”

She was always good natured about it, but then she was always a good natured girl. Her heart is one of pure gold and she is one of the best people I have ever known.

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