Over the years you could say that I have spent quite a bit of time in and on the canal but the first time I ever fell in was the most memorable to me. I have always had an interest in all kinds of wild life, from a very early age I would collect all sorts of things.
A favourite story of my mothers is the day I came in and tipped a large jar of worms all over the dinner table and another time getting my pants ready for the wash she found a snake in my pocket,
But lets get back to the canal; it was a lovely sunny day, we had a lot of them when I was a kid. I wanted a frog for a pet so off up the canal I went, fishing net in hand. Back in the sixties, come February and March the canal bank on both sides would be full of frogs and frog spawn. To find the frog I wanted for my pet was going to be quite a challenge. After half an hour of studying the canal I spotted the one that I wanted.
He was a lovely big bullfrog, greenish brown in colour, a real beauty he was. I could tell from the look in his eyes he wanted to belong to me but he was about four feet from the bank of the canal so I had to have a plan. The brook was only a short walk from the canal so down I went and looked around for the biggest stone I could carry. Half rolling and half carrying I got it up to the canal and with some effort I threw it in. It landed about a foot from the bank, then off I went down to the brook once more for another one getting this back to the canal. I put one foot on the bank then one foot on the stone I had dropped in then I dropped the other stone about another foot. Further along this meant I was only two feet from my prize frog.
So going back to the bank I got hold of my net stepped off the bank on to the first stone then placing my foot on the other stone, I reached forward with the fishing net. All this time the frog had sat there looking at me, and he was almost mine. Then suddenly one of the stones started to wobble under my weight and then splash. In I went head first into the mud and the water lucky for me it was not that deep only about two feet and most of that was mud, and snails and blood suckers and frogs and spawn and a million other types of canal wildlife. I know this to be true cos when I got out of the water I coughed up most of it …but I did have one bit of luck guess what I found in my fishing net.
by Dennis T Baker
Last Modified on: 05-11-2015