The Boy and the Bucket
There once was a young boy who lived on a farm. One morning, like most others, his mother had asked him to fill a bucket from the nearby dam so that he may water some of the plants in the garden. While performing his chores, he filled one too many buckets, instead of over watering the plants or simply wasting the water he decided to leave the spare full bucket by the side of the house overnight so that he may have it ready in the morning.
The following morning the young boy did not need to be reminded of his chores, he briskly left the house and went to the bucket that he had left by the house. When he looked inside the bucket he noticed dead insects were bobbing around within the water. One insect, a beetle seemed to still be alive. The young boy carefully reached in and plucked the scrambling beetle from the water, softly he blew onto it and placed it on the ground. Once on its legs the small beetle began to walk free, the sun soon drying it so that it could rush away to safety.
The boy quickly emptied the bucket onto the plants and decided that he would fill an extra bucket again to place by the house. He did this for expedience but also, he enjoyed the satisfaction of helping the beetle go free. The next day the young boy was up with the sun and quickly checked on his spare bucket, again it was full of dead critters. This time he noticed two more insects struggling to climb free a small spider and a fly, it seemed that both predator and prey were close to sharing the same watery grave. The boy swiftly lifted them both up and out of the water and onto the dry ground. The spider climbed free awkwardly doing its best to dry itself while the fly buzzed excitedly until its wings were dry enough to let it take flight. Again, the boy emptied the bucket and its dead insects onto the plants in the garden. He again filled the bucket and placed it alongside the farmhouse.
That evening as he laid in bed the young boy thought about his bucket and the three critters that he had saved. He smiled proudly as he closed his eyes. He was enjoying knowing that he could rescue the helpless bugs. For a while as he neared sleep he fancied himself as an insect rescuer when he someday matured into a grown man.
As the birds chirped and the sun rose so did the young boy awake, he dashed to his bucket by the side of the house. This morning he found a mouse desperate in its efforts to climb free of the buckets water. Carefully the young boy reached in and plucked the rodent out, flicking it onto the ground so that the wet and exhausted mouse could run free. The boy smiled and peered into the bucket, he was only able to save the mouse this morning as the others inside the water all seemed long dead.
Several weeks had passed as the summer waned on, the boy had not missed a day of watering the plants. Neither had he fallen short in his mission to rescue insect and rodent alike from drowning inside of the bucket, though he rescued fewer than seemed to drown. On this morning, his mother approached, interested in the smiling boy as he pulled something from the bucket.
“What are you doing dear boy?” She enquired.
“I am trying to rescue another beetle” He answered. She shrugged and left him to his efforts. She was happy, the plants had been well watered and the pests seemed to be under control. The boy however seemed frustrated.
That night at dinner he frowned as he stared at his food.
“What is wrong my boy?” His mother asked noting his mood.
“I am thinking about how I can rescue more of them” The boy answered mid thought.
“Rescue more what?” His mother asked.
“Bugs and rodents, more drown in the bucket of water than I am able to pull free.” The boy huffed.
His mother looked at him for a moment before she answered.
“well don’t leave the bucket out overnight”
The boy looked up and glared at her, “If I don’t do that, then how will I save the insects and rodents from drowning?”
Kym Robinson, March 2017