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One Girl, Five Guys, No Date - Part 3

I Was a Teenage Earthworm
(Reprinted from the South Wind, May 7, 1965)
by Bonnie Doerr (written when she was 16!)

Part three in which I must decide: escape with my life or hang on to my pride?
As I climbed over the rocks just inside the cave entrance, it became obvious that I needed sure feet. My too long boots were burdensome, so I left them by the entrance and proceeded with only a pair of sneakers on my feet.

Dick led the way, followed by me, Dan, Nate, and Roger, with George bringing up the rear. We traveled for 1,500 feet, sometimes walking, but mostly crawling. The passageways we crawled through were, at their largest, four feet wide and four feet high. When I’d asked if we’d ever have to crawl the answer had been, “Maybe once or twice.” Two thirds of the morning we spent in Molers Cave we were on our hands and knees or flat on our stomachs. Nate gave me a pair of knee pads, but the bruises formed early. The floors of those “sewer passages” are solid rock.

Our lamps lit the caves bright as day, so I had no darkness to fear. However, there were plenty of other concerns like: falling into crevices, getting lost, getting stuck; bats, spiders, rats; running out of fuel, slipping off cliffs, stepping into bottomless water holes; sliding down a cliff and not being able to get back up; and the big fear itself—claustrophobia. And Dick had said, “There’s nothing to be scared of.”

All I could see were brown, stone walls, floors, and ceilings; muddy cliffs and crevices. Where were the stalactites and other formations I’d always associated with caves? Did I really want to keep going?

Should I maintain my feminine dignity, or forget the whole potential prom date thinking and try to keep up with the boys? It was a little late for that concern. I had no choice. I crawled on and did my best not to fall behind. But despite my best efforts, I would not have made it out alive if one of the guy’s had not been in the right place at the right time.

END Part 3

Coming Next...A muddy lake. No way around. Will I take the plunge? Abandoned in a cave! Stay tuned…

1 comment:

Melanie Mastracola said...

This books looks great already.