Okay, so anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a group of kids, and one of them does something goofballish (it's a word...look it up, there's a picture of my son) and ends up falling into an alligator infested sink hole, that goofball will be one of my kids.
And more often than not, that goofball will be The Boy.
The pond is near my mother's house in Georgia, and after I told The Tween about it, and described it's serious spookiness, she, of course, wanted to see it for herself.
(When we were just dating, my daddy took my now husband fishing in that pond. My husband swears he truly believed that Daddy was going to kill him and no one would ever find his body. I've never been out onto the pond in a boat, and I don't know how far back it actually goes. No one knows how deep it is.)
To appease The Tween, I offered to take her to see it the day after Christmas. Almost all the kids wanted to go, so Mama, my brother, both my sisters and ten of the dozen cousins, loaded up and went to see the pond. We explained the importance of staying away from the edge, and we told them of the twelve foot alligator Grandaddy had once seen in that general area.
Some of them listened.
Others, not so much.
Now, if this were a normal pond with a graduated bank sloping gently into the water, it wouldn't have been a big deal. He would have been a little wet and muddy and cold, but there really wouldn't have been any danger. But because it is a sink hole, and because the water level was so low (you can see the various water levels on the trees in the pictures), instead of a gentle slope, there was a big drop off.
Before I could even think, The Tween, who was standing with her little brother, had jumped into the water to save him. She never thought of her own safety, or the threat of alligators, she just knew she had to save her brother. (In all honesty, that water was much too cold for any alligators to actually show any activity at all, but she didn't know that.)
The water was so deep, she could barely stand up, but she managed to push him up so his head was above the water. She couldn't get him out because she couldn't get a good foothold in the mud.
At that point, The Tween, The Teen, The Boy and The Grandma all started to cry.
I put The Boy in the back of the truck, pulled off his cold, wet clothes and wrapped my coat around him. My sister gave The Tween her coat, and we put them in the truck to take them home.
Once we got back to Grandma's house, and I got The Boy into a nice warm bath, he informed that an alligator bit his butt.
I now owe The Tween a new pair of boots. Hers were ruined by the water and mud.
Her brother just might owe her his life.