The Pond

Naiade by Henri Fantin-Latour

Naiade by Henri Fantin-Latour

‘Don’t these humans ever learn?!’

The water nymph watched as a child, bundled so tightly against the cold he could hardly walk, stepped out onto the ice of her pond.

“Careful Mikey!  You fall in and mom will kill you!”

“I am being careful!  See how slowly I am moving?!  I want to see if the ice is strong enough to ride my bike across it!”

The nymph remembered last winter, when she heard a similar conversation from similar humans.  She still has the mittens from the one that didn’t make it.  ‘Go away’ she thought.  ‘Don’t dirty my pond!’

“Mikey, I don’t like this!  Something isn’t right.  Come off of there!”

“Just a little farther.”

“Mikeeeeeyyyyyy! NOW!”

Suddenly the ice cracked, sounding like a shotgun blast.  The nymph watched as the human child dropped in to her realm.  ‘Great.  Just great.’ She thought.

Mikey bobbed back up to the surface and started scrabbling against the ice.  Every time he tried to get out, the ice broke and he slipped back in.  By now, his clothes were soaked and heavy, making the cold struggle even harder.  She could hear the other child’s frantic cries for help.  Mikey kept struggling but the cold water and weight of his sodden clothes were tiring him out quickly.  Passively she watched as he slowly slid farther into her realm.  With a shrug she started to turn away, when she heard Mikey’s thoughts as clear as a bell.  ‘Oh Gods please don’t let me die!’

‘What?!  Here was one that believed in the old ones!’  Before she could think twice about it, she whipped a current up to send him to the surface.  At the top of his upward movement, the nymph gave him a hardy push that sent him up out of the water and on to ice thick enough to hold his weight.  As his sibling slowly dragged him off the ice, she heard him murmur,  “Thank you”.

**********

‘Ah finally. Spring is here.  I welcome the warmth and sun to my lonely abode.’ Thought the nymph as she commenced with spring cleaning.  ‘Maybe the Lady of the Woods will be kind enough to pay a visit. I wouldn’t even mind a visit from one of those snooty dryads.’  Suddenly she felt a ripple on her pond.  The scent of flowers reached her.  She went to investigate and found the boy who she had saved from drowning.  “Thank you for saving me.” He whispered as he continued to gently float flowers on the pond’s still surface. The boy never forgot that pond or his experience there.  As often as he was able, for as long as he lived, Mikey left offerings for the nymph in the pond.

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