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UNDER THE BRIDGE

BY FIONN DE FAOITE

It started on another one of those dewy, misty, pale Saturday mornings.
We had just finished our breakfast of brown soda bread and some local honey from Tinahely. We were all gathered around the dining table having thoughts about what to do that day in our favourite place—Loggan. I usually love going for a walk up the road with my dog, Sammy, especially in summer. It’s so nice walking up the hill towards Ballynabarney, with the sun on your back and a warm breeze blowing. And the newly-born lambs playing and bleating. I love the way the air is so fresh where we live in the countryside and I really like looking at the lush, green fields. They are the perfect picnic spots—especially the ones near the stream that flows into the Derry river.

So this summer’s morning, I had a strange longing to take a proper look at the local stone bridge. Every time we passed it in our car, it looked like a rather strange and dark place down there. So after my brother and I had gotten dressed, we went out the gate with our mother and headed straight off towards the bridge. I noticed nice big stems of Cow Parsley growing and some pink foxgloves up in the hedges. The road seemed quiet as we walked along, with only the sound of the wind blowing in the alder trees.

By the time we got there, I realised that we had a problem. You see, I wanted to actually go underneath the bridge, not look down from the top by the roadside. But we couldn’t descend to the water’s edge because of all the nettles growing on either side. After a few minutes of thinking, I realised that we had no choice. We would have to just risk going through the nettles.

After a few long minutes of careful climbing, stepping cautiously, we finally got down to the banks of the stream. I was the first to wade under the bridge and I was soon to realise that it was the perfect spot for a creature like Gollum to live. Dark and wet, with hardly any light.

As I walked on through the shallow water, I began to explore the place and realised that the underneath of the bridge was rather cold and damp. Next of all, I looked up and noticed that overhead, there were ten or eleven green blobs sticking to the underside of the bridge. As I looked closer, I realised that the green blobs had eyes and legs and that they were actually frogs! I was about to tell my brother when suddenly one of them dropped and landed on my neck. I cried out and tumbled backwards into the stream. I was going to warn my mother and brother to watch out, when suddenly they both tumbled backwards into the stream too! All three of us quickly got up and were particularly wet and forlorn. Pushing and shoving to get back up onto the road, we trudged home, soaking wet, but with a tale to tell.

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