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The crack in the fence

I still see my Grandfather Ingram telling this tale, chuckling and raising his hand to his mouth to keep his teeth in.


Swimming in forbidden waters was great sport. But our dad and our neighbor, A. C. Miller, decreed that their children were not to swim in the creek right after a rain, when the water was high. They knew the danger of those swirling eddies. And their law was like that of the Medes and the Persians — it changed not. If they found out it had been broken, there was a different kind of sport.

Well, one day after a rain, I went swimming with my elder brother and Tiner and El Miller. On the way home, we four boys came face to face with the Miller boys’ dad.

“I told you not to go swimming, my boys.”

“Oh, we didn’t go in,” Tiner lied.

“Then how come Elbert’s shirt is on wrong side out?”

“He crawled through a crack in the fence and the crack turned it wrong side out.”

Nevertheless, the penalty of the law prevailed. The Miller boys got what they needed, and the Ingram boys ran home.

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