I’ve never been the strongest of swimmers. I can just about flap enough to keep afloat but professional I am not.
The good old age of 4; not many memories are still in my head from this age but I remember this moment like it was yesterday. It’s one of those – scary at the time, funny now- kind of tales.
It was one sunny summer afternoon. The heat was tremendous to a point you could see the heat vapour shimmering off the ground. My Mum decided to take myself and my two older sisters to the local park. The town’s park was massive with a big river that passed through it.
We gathered up our bucket and spades and according to my Mum; I really wanted to take my children’s fishing rod and net so I could catch some fish. As I was a bit of a whinger, Mum gave in to this idea and merrily we headed to our location.
We played in the park for a bit; my eldest sister Laura found a Duck Egg in the sand pit. She presented it to us all and I wanted to take it home so we could hatch it and keep it as a Pet (I had planned on naming it Quacksly). Laura on the other hand scoffed “It’s only a fake toy Egg, Jack”.
To “Prove” to us the Egg was fake she decided to boot it across the park. Safe to say this idea miserably failed when it did turn out to infact be a real egg and yolk went all over her shoe and leg. We all started crying and Mum was despairingly was like “Oh for goodness sakes” etc.
After cleaning Laura up she took us away to go to the river to start catching some fish. Mum gave her set of rules to me “Jack, remember when you catch a fish to put it straight back as they will die, and don’t go too close to the edge of the path as it’s broken away there and you will fall in”.
Well, without a second into attempting to Fish; SPLASH!
As you can probably guess; yep I fell in immediately. I was screaming for help and felt like I was drowning, wriggling and writhing in the water. Mum couldn’t reach me with her hand so she put out the fishing net we had.
I was on my stomach racing to grab on to the net and after what seemed like ages I managed to grab it. I held on as Mum pulled. Then I realised that the water wasn’t even that deep. It probably came just above my knees at best. All that submerging and spinning and splashing for nothing. Mum called me a stupid idiot but she was uncontrollably laughing as she helped me to land, which was echoed by my two sisters. Hell, I think even the Birds were mocking me.
“Right, we are going home to dry you off”.
I literally had to do a ten minute walk of shame in sodden clothes. The water in my socks and trainers making a loud squelching sound with every step. People walking past giving strange looks to the sodden Fish boy.
As soon as we got in the house Mum stripped me of all my wet clothes and got me in a bath to rid me of the dirty river stench. I think I started crying because my favourite Thomas the Tank Engine pants were ruined.
The moral of the story; Listen to Mum.