To Find Water

September 24, 2016 7:17 pm0 commentsViews: 6
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It was Summer.  I had a job working for a small radio station in Conway, New Hampshire.  My shift ended at 11 p. m.  My summer house was across the border in Bridgeton, Maine.  One night I was driving home and as I left the last town in Maine before I got home, just as I was heading up a short incline my car started to die.

Up ahead was a John Deere tractor company.  Above the building was a sign identifying it.  I had never seen that sign lit up after the shop was closed for the day, but on this particular evening it was.  I had just enough speed to coast in under it and stop.

I got out and opened the hood.  By the light of the John Deere sign I could see immediately what the problem was.  The dull orange colored hose leading from the radiator had split.  The water had evaporated.  All that was left of it was some hissing steam.  I found a small piece of metal in the glove compartment to twist around the hose and close it off.

When you do any country living there are some things you learn, and one of them is about what you always carry in your car: a jack, a tire iron, a shovel and an empty can.  I had an empty oil can in the back, so I got it out and went around the John Deere building looking for a spigot to draw some water.  There was none.

It was a very dark night and very quiet.  I knew that at that hour there would be no other traffic along that back country road.  I stood, leaning up against the fender of my car wondering what to do.

Then, in the distance, I heard the sound of a bullfrog.  Now I don’t know everything about country living, but one thing I know is that where there is a bullfrog there is water not far away.  So I followed that sound off into the night, stepping on who knows what kind of terrain, disturbing who knows what sort of wild life, until I got close to the sound of the frog.  And sure enough there was a small pond.

I filled the can, took it back and poured it in the radiator.  I had to make several trips back and forth to get enough water to start the car.  The bullfrog kept up his croaking the whole time.

When I finally got the car started, I slammed down the hood, put the can in the back and drove home.  As I was leaving I said “Thank you John Deere.  Thank you Mr. Bullfrog.”

The next morning I went to the nearest auto shop where the mechanic replaced the hose and refilled the water.  He handed back the small piece of metal I had used to tie off the hose and said “Don’t lose this.”  I put it back in the glove compartment.  One never knows. ■

—Dana Bate

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