When 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.
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!