Swamp

When I was in the middle of my school years my family moved from suburbian 1-flat private house to 2-room state-owned standard flat on the other end of the city of Krasnodar. I remained in the same school since there were only 2 advanced English studies schools in Krasnodar.

Each day (save Sunday) I voyaged on the tram (about 1 hour to one side) to school and back. Having settled at new place I went to explore the surroundings. Two houses separated me from the lake heavily grown by bulrush. At the brink there was a long board leading to bulrush bushes across small pool abundant with water insects. I recalled that I had a textbook for the next study year first pages of which were devoted to water insects. I decided to examine probes of water myself and went home to fetch a suitable vessel for a probe.

Having returned I found no board. Without much thinking I jumped over to what I thought to be safe and dry bulge behind the water pool and was amazed to sink knee-deep in the bottomless swamp. I have tried to turn around but only found myself sinking waist-deep in the swamp. Each attempt to move resulted in sinking deeper and deeper, my legs failed to touch firm ground and felt only constantly sliding roots of plants. Black enormous bubbles rose from the depth. My roaming eyes noticed that all windows of the 5-storied building were shut and nobody would see or hear me. Suddenly I heard some noise behind me and slowly turned back sinking breast-deep. There were 2 boys standing on the board with another board in hands.

– What are doing here?
– Don’t you see, I am sinking.
– Why don’t you call for help?
– Useless. Nobody would hear me.
– Ah, clear.

The boys turned back but continued speaking

– He seems to be really sinking.
– I never lie.
– Do you want us to extract you from this swamp?
– That would be fine.

After few minutes all of us were covered with black stinking mud. But we were at the dry bank. The boys proposed to wash ourselves in the other lake nearby. Both were the remnants of once a river. It was early spring and the water was rather cold. But none of us got ill.