Deception River

The Indians called it Deception River. It rose and fell and snaked its way through the north shore of New Scotland from Northumberland and beyond… This is where I learned to swim when I was 7 at the courtesy of 3 older boys who pushed me into the channel. I said to Robert, the oldest one who pushed me into deeper water while the other 2 ran away with my clothes.

“Don’t put my head under. Give me a chance.”

Robert gave me a chance. I knew how to float and hid my fears with faith. I spun in the whirls of a falling tide and learned to manure my floating body by moving my hands.

As I ran up the road towards the house naked except my underwear. I met my mother, who wanted to know what happened. “I can swim.” I smiled.

Later, she said, “Those boys tried to drown you.”

They avoided me after that. I never saw any of them at the river. Not one of them knew how to swim.

Nothing is as it seems…

Deception River.

Dennis Mantin

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