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Stuck in the Mud
By Mariea Harte


After mass and still in our Sunday best, my sister Tina and I asked if we could play in the front street. I stood their pencil like, in my expensive dress, white ankle socks and black paten shoes which looked nothing on me. I had short brown hair with green eyes my complexion was described as pale. Tina on the other hand was very good looking. Only a few pounds spent on her outfit which was a pair of lemon jeans and a matching top, she always still stood out in a crowd, with her long jet-black hair, blue eyes. Everyone said she had an Indian look to her. 

Don’t go pass Mrs Daly’s house, (which was only two from ours.)
“Stay in front of the house so I can see you” ma said.
We played the usual kids games like hide-and-seek, tig, and can’t cross the read river.  Damian and Bo, Bo Magee, two brothers, who lived just across the road from us asked if they could play in our game. Damian was older than us and he tried to boss us but Tina wouldn’t let him boss her. He had dark hair and didn’t care much about how he looked. Bo, Bo was different, he was really good-looking, well, I thought so. His mum used to keep me going as to how her Bo, Bo liked me. He had a head of curly hair. He always spoke to you even if you where on your own.  The smith brothers John and Stephen lived next door to us. We played with them, but they where just the smith brothers. They all looked much the same with their fair hair blue eyes and well dressed for Sunday. 

We played for a long time before my new shoes began to hurt. Everyone was having so much fun I didn’t want to miss anything so I sat on the edge of the kerb.
I heard our window banging. It was my da shouting at me to get of the ground, you’ll catch a cold sitting on that ground, your ma said you will ruin your new cloths.

Tina shouted, “Can’t cross the red river without the colour”
She never got to finish what she was saying
When Jo, Jo Smith, a fella from fifth Ave. yelled out, black!
Bo, Bo said. “No one said you could play?”
With no reply from Jo, Jo Tina and the others played on for another while. John Smith was out of the game and was sitting talking to Jo, Jo who was no relation. Jo, Jo was a few years older than us and he was a bit strange, I didn’t like him much.

I over heard them talking about going over to the field by Hannagins garden. Tina and I were not allowed in the field. I wanted to go, but Tina was afraid of getting caught by our ma or da. She told me we’re going to get into trouble and we shouldn’t go. I don’t care I’m going

There was a few ways you could get in the field; through the front gardens of Mrs Hannagins or Mr. Ore’s but you would get caught easy. The other way was round the back of Hannagins; we had to go past our house and down the back entry. Our dogs barked every time someone went by, sometimes daddy would go out to see who was there, if someone was teasing to dog.  We made our way past without any bother. We were sure there was no one in, in Hannagins as they always went out on Sunday for a drive. Now we had to climb over the wire and through the hedgerow trying not to get our cloths dirty.  We worked our way through the muddy field picking our steps carefully. Clumps of reeds and thistles grew in large patches all over the bottom half of the field they thinned out the further up you went. Along the bottom of the field was swampy. It was hard to pick your way thought it.  The boys went on ahead of us and by the time we were half way up the field, which was on a hill we could see the boys running towards us.
“What’s wrong?” I shouted.
There’s a bull! Run, run Bo, Bo shouted.  We turned and ran, not thinking of our cloths or our shoes we just ran as fast as we could. Tina went round the side. I ran straight down the field forgetting the black swampy patches at the bottom. I went straight in up to my knees I’m going to sink, I though, it quick sand. Daddy! daddy I screamed. By now I was up to my waist. I couldn’t see anyone. Tina, Tina. I felt a warm trickle running down my legs. I struggled to get out but the more I struggled the more I sunk. It felt like I was never going to get. The only thing going through my head was I’m going to die. I’m going to sink and if I don’t sink the bull was going to get me. Our house, five doors away, daddy still heard me from the living room he came out to see what was going on. What’s all the screaming about?  He couldn’t see me and by now half the street was out to see what’s happing. Daddy it’s mariea she’s in the swamp. Daddy got to me in time and with little effort he pulled. I had time to think now as I wasn’t going to die well not in the field but now it was mummy or daddy who was going to kill.
The only thing I lost that day was one of my new shoes.

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