The Pond

I remember the odd rectangular pond. It was near the old road down the hill. Looking back, I think it was dug for a construction project years before I was there.

The water was full of algae and I saw a lot of frogs and salamanders there. Sometimes I saw some egg clusters in the Spring. They were a glob of small marbles with a little bit of dark in the center. There were tadpoles sometimes too.

There was a real lake near there. The beach was rocky with only a little sand. They gave swimming lessons in the summer, but I always failed. I couldn’t get over the unpleasant feeling of the water up my nose.

I wonder what the other kids thought of me. We lived far from town and we never went to parties. Or at least I never did. I was too busy reading encyclopedias to go out and play sports or hang out. I was terrified of getting in trouble. I would feel a horrible burning sensation on the back of my neck, so I stayed good.

I didn’t know other places to find salamanders. They were exotic brown amphibians that usually ran away before I could catch them. They had little toes on their feet. I think their legs were more coming from the sides of the bodies instead of below.

I was glad when “mud season” was there. The clay ground near the surface had mud underneath it so that you could squish on the top and water would come up through the cracks. I’ve always liked playing with water.

Our house had a metal roof that was painted green. My bedroom was upstairs so when the rain came, it made a lot of noise. The outside of the house was cedar shakes. The slabs of wood were layered on each other. They changed color as they aged. My parents liked their memory and included them in the Indiana house that was on a hill.

The Vermont house is still there as is the maple tree that hung the swing. It was big when I was little. Now it must be huge.