Enjoy Now–Pay Later by Mildred Grant

               We four: Chester, Eleanor, Allen and I, were headed down the drive, across the bridge and down the main road toward the swimming holes at Dunbar Falls. Mom had told us not to go that far down on the brook, but that was where the best swimming was. Mom had heard we were in for some thunder showers and didn’t want us that far from home when they descended. The peaceful brook could rise in just a few minutes to a raging torrent and our situation could become dangerous. We weren’t phased a bit by Mom’s predictions, but we had never seen what that brook could do when storm swollen. Mom had lived with that brook in her childhood. We should have listened!

               The sun was still shining when we reached the pools at the falls, but about a half hour later, we began to hear distant thunder. Eleanor was getting uneasy, but the rest of us ignored her and all the signs of the approaching storm. We didn’t realize it had been storming, hard, at the brooks’ head-waters for nearly fifteen minutes before we saw the first lightening begin to flash across the darkening sky.

               Eleanor grabbed Allen’s hand, saying, “We’re going home. You two can stay here if you want to, but I’m taking Allen back to the house.”

               Chet and I paddled around until we noticed a roaring, smashing sound approaching the swimming pools from upstream. We looked up, in the gathering darkness, to see a wall of water, mud, and tree limbs coming down the stream-bed, directly at us.

               Chet shouted, “Over here, Mil.”

               I tried to follow him over rain-slicked rocks—jumping from one boulder to another to a very small cave high up in the south bank of the stream. We made it, but none too soon. Our swimming pool was no more. It was a roaring, tumbling flood! We remained safe, but only by inches. Soon, the deluge and flood were both gone and the sun made a belated reappearance, but we could still hear that wall of water and debris crashing it’s way downstream as we started walking home.

               As we made our way up the road, we wondered why Mom was waiting for us with a substantial switch in her hand.

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