Friday, October 16, 2015
88. IN THE AFTERMATH OF AN ORDEAL
My dear HeyDude,
My wife is cooking in the kitchen. She doesn't have the faintest idea that I nearly died 30 minutes ago. I didn't make up my my mind whether to tell her about my ordeal or not.
The smaller aquarium where we kept smaller fish had a partition for a nursery. The hydrilla and other aquatic plants we bought from time to time at the aquarium shop brought in these small snails too. Which looked like a hidden blessing didn't take long to become a hidden menace when they started breeding rapidly. We often marveled at the number of snails each time we cleaned the fish tank. However when I put the excess into the larger tank where we kept bigger fish like goldfish and black moor, they seem to disappear. The guilty feeling made us not to do that again.
Last weekend, I cleaned the smaller tank as the water seemed to have become stagnant due to the uneaten fish food pellets. I was very careful not to harm the newborn platies so I emptied the nursery side first into a clear plastic bottle to examine before discarding the water. The last bottleful was so muddy and murky I had to keep it for the sediments to settle down before I could make out if any newborn fish were there.
This bottle remained near the aquariums for almost a week. We were stunned by the sheer number of snails that were there. And there were no fish.
Now we were faced with a new dilemma of what to do with this bottle of snails. I didn't want to put them back to the smaller tank as there were too many there already. I didn't want to put them into the bigger tank where they would not have a fighting chance and would be gobbled down by the bigger fish. This made me guilty. I couldn't put them into the sea because they would die in the salt water. The only chance was putting them into the storm drain where the rainwater was trapped below the grilled drain covers.
After hanging the laundry on the washline. I put the bottle and a stick to pluck the reluctant ones from the bottle in the cycle basket and rode off. As I arrived at the first storm drain storm cover where I could secretly dump the contents without raising the suspicion of the bystanders, another thought struck me.
There is a freshwater swamp in this island. Well that looked like a good idea about 45 minutes ago. I rode along a deserted bumpy road in the scorching sun with the stinking water splashing on me from time to time.
Finally I arrived at the swamp. The water seemed to be far away on the other side of the sand bank covered with scorched greenish mud. I tested the earth with the bike wheel. It held. It looked like solid hardened flat earth. I peddled off towards the water.
Woosh! The front wheel sank first. I put my feet on the ground which sank up to the knees immediately. I pulled one leg out but the other leg sank deeper in the effort. I knew I was in deep trouble.
There was no one to see me. Even my wife didn't know where I went.
The quicksand must be like this. And I realize even a truck could totally disappear in this within minutes. I remembered the flatter I am better the chances of keeping afloat. Still I wasn't ready to lay face down and a get a mouthful of stinking mud.
I lay the bike on its side. It gave better leverage. I pulled one leg out which came out of the stinking mud without my flip flop. I set that foot as closer to the safety of verge of the swamp and pulled out the other using the leverage on the bike.
I managed to withdraw step by step dragging the bike with me and finally set foot on the solid ground. My legs were covered in stinking slimy grayish mud. For a crazy moment I wondered whether to rescue my flipflops and then decided against it. I rubbed my legs on the grass and got rid of the caking mud to some extent.
With all this mishaps, the bottle was still there with a little water still inside with all the snails safe. I felt like throwing them into the mud but didn't want them to die on the dry mud.
I was furious as I was trying to do a good deed and nearly died doing it. I grabbed the bottle and went to the nearest storm drain cover and peeped through the grill. It was full of water.I emptied the bottle into it, then dashed the upside down bottle on it several times for good measure. Some die hard snails were still clinging on to the bottle. I used the stick which had miraculously survived the ordeal and plucked them out and dropped them into the drain.
I rode home detouring to avoid crowds. I managed get into the house without being noticed. And Oh, I hadn't lost the bunch of keys. And luckily I had left my smart phone and wallet with cards at home too. Then I noticed my favorite flipflops I thought I left in deep mud near the door. No. Don't think it is a miracle. I had worn the other rubber ones in a hurry. If miracles work that way I wouldn't have nearly died trying to do good to the snails without flushing them down the toilet in the first place.
I still didn't decide whether to tell this to my wife or not. And longer it takes it makes it harder to begin.
First I thought I would close comments and publish this. Why? I asked myself. Because I don't want sympathetic comments. But I never close comments. Okay, I'll leave the comments open. But I don't want to answer any of them. I simply wrote this because I want to tell this to someone. HeyDude is the best person for that. He won't talk back. Would not advise me. Would not say good deeds pay back or some stupid shit like that. Most of all it would say God has anything to do with that. No one was there. I was on my own.
Simulblogged @ මගේ ඩෙනිම in Singhala.