It was the same summer that Blackie* got away.
I was still seven and three quarters years old. Closer to eight but still not there yet.
George is my little brother. We liked to go to the caves that were a long ways away. It seemed a long ways as when we went
there, George road on the handle bars on my bicycle. He wasn’t real big but he got heavy pretty fast.
There were several little caves that didn’t go anywhere. When you went into them, it was fun but you never saw anything new,
only got muddy.
But there was one big cave hidden behind some bushes. I’d been there with some other kids but they always wanted to quit
exploring and go home too soon. We almost never even got to the end of the cave cause they were always quitting and
wanting to get back home so they won’t get yelled at!
Well, I wanted to see what was really there. So George and I, we got up really early and ate some cereal for breakfast. You
know when mom’s not watching how you fill the bowl full of cereal and then fill it up with milk. Then you add sugar until it over
flows! There’s always a bunch of sugar on the bottom that is almost too sweet to drink but I always did drink it.
After downing the cereal, we fixed some lunch which was always peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We got our flash lights,
some extra batteries which we put in our pockets and took off.
When we got to the cave, it was bright early morning. The air was still cool. But I was hot from peddling my little brother on my
bicycle handle bars across the city!
We got out flash lights and our lunches and went inside the cave. Boy, it was really cool in here. It was like going to the mall
but without the noise and lights. It was super quiet in here. If you listened you could hear nothing. That’s quiet!
The entry to the cave was small. You had to crawl in but then you could stand up.
You could tell lots of people had been in this cave.
We spent a lot of time looking for tunnels or secret passages. There wasn’t anything except as you walked towards the back
of the cave, the ceiling came down and the floor went up until there was only enough room for you to slide along on your
belly. This went on for a long ways then the cave opened up into a new cave!
This cave was larger than the first one and you could tell few people ever went in here. You know how you can tell, no trash or
writing on the wall. People didn’t seem to know it was ugly to throw trash and write on the walls! My brother and I, we always,
well almost always, threw our trash away! Our mama had taught us not to throw trash on the ground!
This cave was older. It had those things hanging from the ceiling and meeting piles that grew up from the floor! They kind of
sparkled when you shined the flashlights on them. It was cool and mysterious!
There was a pool of water over by one wall of the cave. Water was dripping down into it pretty fast. When you shinned the
flashlights at them, they sparkled and glistened. It was real pretty.
At the bottom of the shallow pool, there were lots of small rocks. Some of them were shiny smooth! I put a few in my pocket.
George was excited as this was his first trip into this, the second, cave. In the dark with only the light from the flashlights, he
looked really little. But I knew he was almost 6 and he was much bigger than our two little sisters!
I showed him the rocks in the water and he was excited and happy.
I told George, “Let’s eat! I’m starving.” He sat down on a rock and immediately opened his lunch. I sat down beside him. You
know sometimes I really like the little guy. He’s pretty neat.
I finished my lunch first and left George holding his sandwich in one hand and playing in the water with the other. He was
looking for pretty rocks.
While he was looking at the shiny rocks, I went exploring. I couldn’t go far cause George might get scared by himself.
I walked all around the edges and then walked around the edges again. It seemed this was the end of the caves. But in one
area behind where the water dripped, I noticed there was a shadowed area. Hard to see with just a flashlight and the water
And I almost missed it! I stepped over the pool to get a better look and there was a very thin crack between the rocks! I stuck
my flashlight in and there was a tunnel!
This was really exciting! I told George, “Come on George! I found a secret tunnel!” None of the other kids I had come with in
the past had ever mentioned this tunnel. They all talked about the water fall and the rocks but no one mentioned the tunnel!
I went first and George followed behind me in. We walked slowly looking at everything. This tunnel seemed even older than
the last cave. The things that hang from the ceiling and meet the ones on the floor were even larger and more sparkly! There
was a very light breeze or so it seemed that I’d never felt in the other caves.
There was no sign that anyone had ever been in this tunnel, not even foot prints in the damp dirt floor! It looked over a million
It was very quiet in this tunnel. Not even the sound of the water falling reached in here. We kept going and it seemed to be a
long way but I couldn’t really tell. The tunnel made a sharp turn down and it kept going down and down. Then, I could see up
ahead. The tunnel ended.
I walked towards the end to see if it turned or something and there was an edge, almost a wall right at the end and behind the
George interrupted me and said “I want to go home! It’s getting late.”
See! That’s the trouble with little kids! Always wanting to go home!
I asked him, being a little annoyed with him, “How do you know it getting late?” See George didn’t have a watch and I didn’t
either. But I knew he was probably right.
I thought, we’d have to go home and come back another day. “Okay, George. But next time, we come back, we need to skip
the rocks and playing in the water and really explore this place”
George was happy now and said “Okay Darma! Let’s go!”
I said, “Okay, but let me look over this wall.”
I looked and there was a big hole, big as the tunnel and it went almost straight down. I told George, “Help me find a rock!”
He said “Why?” not so happily now.
“Cause I found a big hole and I want to see how deep it is!” That silenced him!
We both searched and he found a lose rock. I took the rock and we both went up to the edge of the hole and I threw it down.
We could here it knocking and hitting off other rocks for a long ways and then it stopped. So it wasn’t straight down and it
wasn’t too deep.
But it was steep!
I told George, “It’s too steep to try to climb down and it is getting late.”
“When we come back, we’ll bring a rope and some more batteries.”
I wondered to myself, what could be down that hole at the back on this secret tunnel so far down into the Earth?
To be continued…..
*Blackie: see Childhood Adventure “The Crawdad"
By Carl Watts
Stories by Carl
"Art by Carl"
Childhood Misadventure 3 "The Tunnel"
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