A Friendly River

The Amazon flowed at the bottom of our housing estate. As a young boy this is where I had my first great adventures, on my return as a man many years later I discovered it had shrunk to a babbling brook.
Hopping from stone to stone and running along the river bank, I rarely returned home with dry feet.
Mesmerised by the sparkling ripples, multitudes of mini whirl pools and galaxies of bursting bubbles the river became my friend. Every rolling stone and swirl of water, whispered a gurgling story that was music to my ears.
What lay beneath the sparkling surface remained a mystery despite my many fishing expeditions. On one particular adventure I followed in the shadow of my big brother, normally my nemesis, we would fight it in and out. On this fishing trip the water had swallowed-up our stepping stones and to my surprise he offered me a piggy back across the river, as he gently set me down on a bolder after traversing the river with his heavy load I pondered, could a brother also be a friend?
We agreed to try the round pool, it’s where the water flowed wide and gentle, shadowed by large oaks shaking hands from either side of the river.
The glassy surface held close its secrets, but we had the gear, the magic weaponry and a safety pin as a hook. Would this be the morning I would catch one of those mysterious massive brown trout that lurked just out of reach, close to the far bank?
The waters were calm but flowing strong, clouds darkening, a flood rolling down from the hills, there was an air of excitement.
I carried the jam jar, holes pierced in the lid for air, black head worms wriggling for their lives in the muck.
Fingers in, wriggling slimy worm out, punctured onto the hook, guts spilling and tail swinging, black heads are the best!
Rod in hand, worm on hook, sinker a foot above the worm, cast into the unknown. Plonk! What could lay beneath those ever increasing circles?
We’ve done what we can and now it’s out of our hands.
Gazing into the rippling reflection of the trees, time slumbers.
Dark shadows of thunder clouds drift over us and the mirroring surface comes alive with rain drops bouncing and popping.
My brother takes off his fur trimed hooded coat and wraps it around my shoulders, I snuggle down into a muddy hollow, secure, warm and cocooned. I look out on rain drops making an ever changing pattern on the surface of the water.
We go home empty handed again, but I have something new in my heart. That day in a muddy hollow, on the bank of a friendly river, I had a warm magical feeling that will remain with me for ever.