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When the Earth Swallowed Grandma
by: PJ Hall-Bills
Growing up in the South we were taught that if the day was pretty then our place was outside playing. Besides, that is where my brothers and sister wanted to be. They were always on an adventure. Grandma’s home was on a large piece of property with a fairly large yard.
There in the big front yard with plenty of up and down areas was one special place. The grass was nice and tall and we were always trying to think of an adventure. My brother decided that we were going to dig a tunnel. You know the kind that goes to China! That way we could escape if we needed to.
Everyday my brothers and sister would go out there and hide to dig out the escape tunnel. Inch by inch that tunnel got deeper and deeper. You would have thought that kids that young would have given up after a few days. No siree, not my brothers and sister! They were gonna dig to China. Besides it was fun to sit in the tunnel and smell all of the dirty.
That tunnel was a great place to get cool on those hot summer days. Besides, they weren’t under anybody’s feet and were doing what they were supposed to. Guess what? The first tunnel was great so why not dig another one? You know, one for each of them. That would be even better.
Work continued now on the first tunnel then they worked on the other two when they got tired of the first one. That tunnel got pretty deep or at least to us it felt pretty deep. It wasn’t gonna be long and we would be in China! We could get in there and nobody could see up. It was great!
It was great until grandma decided that she was going to mow. Not just the usually part that she mowed but a bigger area. With the kids playing outside and snakes so bad in the summer she felt that it would be better for us. You see there wasn’t any men folk around so as tough as nails grandma was gonna take care of it.
The very next day after the dew had dried, she started mowing. She mowed the usual part then she started on the extra areas where we played. We watched big eyed as she got closer and closer to the secrete tunnels. Nobody said a word. Then it happened! One minute she was hot sweating and mowing. The next minute she was gone!
My brothers and sister started crying cause the earth had swallowed grandma. It was all our fault and we weren’t gonna to see her ever again.
Well, she finally got up outa that hole and we knowed we was in for a switchen. The switchen never came. I think when she saw the tears and dirt on those little faces and understood we thought the earth had swallowed her she just couldn’t bring herself to do it.
That is not to say that she didn’t punish us because she did. The next day she set us to the task of filling in those tunnels to China or most of the way anyway. She taught us that when you did something that you shouldn’t that there were consequences. For her it wasn’t digging the tunnel that was wrong. It was watching the earth swallow her instead of telling her they were there.