WHEN I WAS growing up, my summer vacations were spent at my godfathers farm. He had lots of fruit trees, farm animals and "the river." When I was ten years old, I had the strangest experience. My cousin Theresa and I headed for the river ready for great fun. This river ran through my godfather's farm. It was a wonderful river with shallow and deep areas that led to a beautiful waterfall where I spent wonderful summer moments bathing and having fun.
The part of the river that was shallow was safe enough, and we knew better than to head for deeper waters where it would be dangerous. We were allowed to wade there without supervision, so long as we didnt continue down river to the deeper parts.
Knowing this, Theresa and I headed for the river with a floating tube to be used in the shallow part of the river, where we played safely and water reached our waistline, safe enough to waddle in.
I didnt know how to swim, but enjoyed pretending I could, and with the floating tube I managed to stay afloat... and thats how I got into trouble.
Not noticing that I was heading for the deeper side of the river, I continued to paddle and wiggle and have fun. Suddenly, I looked toward my cousin and noticed that she was very far away from me and that I had ventured into the deeper side of the river. At that point I started splashing and panic took over.
I didnt know how to swim, so my fear was drowning.
I kept trying to turn the tube around to head back toward the shallow water. All of the sudden, my tube flipped and I went under water very fast. While I was going under, I kept thrashing my arms and saw bubbles above me. The floating tube was gone and was engulfed in a strange world.
I have no idea how far down I was going, but I think I hit bottom. All I could see around me were these huge, floating, tentacle-like shapes - they were broad and macabre... and very scary. Soon I realized I was looking at the roots of a tree. Somehow there was suction beneath the tree that pulled me right in. The tree was hollow and big enough to fit me in. I could breathe under this huge tree!
It was amazing. I kept looking around and was not drowning, but I could not even envision how to get out. Again I started to panic and got really afraid of the roots that seemed like arms trying to hold me inside the tree.
Omara began to think that perhaps her young life was at an end, ensnared beneath the river water by a tangle of roots. But then something miraculous and inexplicable happened....
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