The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Heart of the Blue Ridge

Puddles and Pain

By Vickie Brown Griffin © 2015

Online: March, 2015

"I double dog dare you.""I double dog dare you."The day started off like any other day, except for this day my Mama dressed me in a pretty brown dress, my cousins had passed down to me. I always lacked some of the finer things in life growing up in Dahlonega, Georgia; we had an outhouse, no indoor plumbing, most of our clothes were hand me downs, or flour sack dresses.

I so longed to fit in with the kids at East Side Elementary school in Dahlonega, that I would usually do crazy or silly stuff to get laughs. I learned early on that if I could get you to laugh, most of the time you would like me. Everything was going along just fine until those older 3rd grade boys dared me; I was in the first grade.

I first stood on the side watching as a small crowd had gathered. Well every one of these boys were jumping across a huge mud puddle and making it. Me, I piped up and said, I bet I could make it too. Those boys, and girls by now, said, "I double dog dare you." Of course that was all it took. I got me a running start and right in the middle of the mud puddle I landed.

puddle and pain sunsetSunset over Dahlonega, Georgia.Now I only lived a mile from the school so the teacher said I will just take you home since you are so close by. She didn't ask how it happened, it was apparent I didn't fool her. So we started, I believe she put a trash bag, towel or something over her seat so as I wouldn't dirty it up. All this time I'm thinking what I am going to tell my Mama, I know, I will tell her I tripped and fell in.

We get to my home, Mama opens the door there I am in my really, really brown dress, tears were almost coming out of my eyes. My teacher says Mrs. Brown your daughter had a small accident at school during recess. My Mama, ever so careful as to what she said, replies, "I will take care of Vickie, thank you for bringing her home."

That Cherokee looking glare, and the fact that she said go on now and go in the back room and wait on me and I will help you get out of those dirty clothes. Oh, but I knew, I just knew what I was gonna face in a little while. I thought and thought while I was in that room alone, maybe if I really, really try to cry maybe Mama won't tell me to go outside and get that switch.

Well, I will let all you fine readers figure out how this story ended. But I never, ever tried to jump across any more mud puddles; although, I sure was popular with all the boys in school after that. Now that I look back on it, that's when I learned that sometimes laughter and tears go hand in hand.