Playing at the Branch…but don’t tell Mom!

pony line drawingWhen I was growing up in rural south Alabama, we had a small stream that we liked to play in. We called it “the branch.” What country kid can resist playing in water? Ben and I learned a lot about water tables and soil errosion from playing there.

I found this description, along with its line art, in one of my journals. I’ll copy it just as I wrote it in 1984, without any editing.

7-1-84
At the Branch

The “branch” is a good name for the stream that runs through Papa’s pasture. It changes over the years and branches in many places and the deepest part is less than 2 yards wide. Later, it branches into our big creek in Daddy’s own pasture which leads to the Tombigbee river. The branch holds hours of both summer and winter playtime. Ben and I have always dug extra passages for water to flow. It have [sic] huge banks and clay bottoms even at the floor of the branch which is only one or two feet at the deepest. Mama usually always disappoves [sic] of us at the branch because of glass bottles and snakes. I have only gotten cut twice in 14 years. (Summer “84”) Ben got snakebit but only way off down where we dont play and it is snakey and bushy. We enjoy the branch!

Ben, my pony, and I, playing at the branch.
Ben, my pony, and I, playing at the branch.
My journal page.

0 Responses to Playing at the Branch…but don’t tell Mom!

  1. I love this! How fun that you were such a diligent journaler when you were young. I was a sporadic one (read: I only wrote in my journal about two times a year!). I love the drawing, too. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! 🙂

  2. HaHa. I love it! My grandparents had a creek run through their farm too but we had been so thoroughly indoctrinated by our youngest uncle (we had ten of them. Mama was the eldest of twelve children and had only one sister) about bloodsuckers that “latch on to your legs if you step into the water and suck all your blood out.” We lived only about ten miles from the Tombigbee in east Mississippi. At that time there was only one way to get in to Alabama without driving a long way around and that was to cross the Tom by ferry.

    Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I feel very much at home here.

    • Wow, sounds like we’re from the same area! That’s so funny that you should mention the bloodsuckers. We never got those guys. It reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s On the Banks of Plum Creek. 🙂

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