Mary and the Dam

At the age of twelve, girls were icky creatures. They liked to play with dolls and were scared of worms. Girls were even worse than cats.

But Mary was different. She could run faster than any of the other boys. She liked to climb trees, and she would climb higher than any boy but me. She liked to play baseball and wrestle. Mary was my best friend.

One day, we wandered down to the creek behind my house. Mary and I collected rocks and logs. For about two hours, we built a dam. As we put the rocks and logs in place, the flow of the creek slowed and the water began to expand around us. When I put the final rock in place, I was exhausted.

We climbed to the top of the small hill above the creek and watched it slowly expand as the water backed up. “How deep do you think it will get?” Mary asked.

“The dam is about three foot high. It was about a foot deep before. So, I guess it will get about four feet deep before it starts to spill over the top of the dam.”

We sat there silently, watching the water slowly fill the small gulley where we had constructed the dam. One thing I liked about Mary was that she didn’t have to talk all of the time.

Mary finally broke the silence. “This is pretty cool.”

I nodded and laid back. Mary laid back too, and we both stared at the blue sky above us. A bird chirped in a nearby tree. “A cardinal,” Mary said softly. “My favorite bird. Did you know that cardinals mate for life?”

“Yes, Mr. Zachary told us that in biology class. I understand that that is unusual for birds, but what’s the big deal?”

Mary rolled on her side and punched my arm. “Don’t be a jerk.”

I sat up, rubbing my arm. “That hurt,” I whined. Looking down at the creek, I pointed and stood. “Let’s go,” I said as I raced down the hill and dove into the pond that we had created.

Mary was soon in the water with me. For the next hour, we swam and splashed one another. We had created a mini-paradise that was ours alone. At some point, the dam could no longer contain the water and began to break apart. I climbed out of the creek and fell onto the bank.

As I laid there, Mary walked over to where I was and stood over me. She shook her long blond hair as I looked up at her. Slowly, she lowered her body, planting her knees outside of mine.

She smiled, and I smiled back. She was a girl, and I was a boy, and as she pressed her lips to mine, I decided that girls weren’t so icky.

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