Monday, July 26, 2010

No Swimming

Kenny, a fictional fourth-grader in Christopher Paul Curtis’s book The Watsons Go to Birmingham, learned this lesson well. On a hot summer day in Alabama, Kenny could not resist the temptation to go swimming, despite the No Swimming sign and warnings about a whirlpool. But Kenny could see no danger, so he decided to swim anyway. At first, he was only going to step in the water, but when he caught sight of a turtle, he decided to swim toward it. Before he knew it, he was caught in the vicious whirlpool.

Reflecting on his near-death experience, the boy said: “There’s one good thing about getting in trouble: It seems like you do it in steps. . . . It also seems like the worse the trouble is that you get into, the more steps it takes to get there. Sort of like you’re getting a bunch of little warnings on the way; sort of like if you really wanted to you could turn around.”

Thanks to Trilea's neighbor Mo for letting my son Braeden and I use their backyard pool. And thanks to my husband, who made sure I understood the physics of how a whirlpool really works.

No comments: