Two Drowned Rats

(taken from Lena MICHIE's History)

While still at the mill, one beautiful day after we got our work done, Alice and I went for a walk across a stream of water called the South Fork to get some pine boughs on the hillside. There was a log over which we crossed. After getting the pine boughs we threw them over the water. When we were ready to cross I asked Alice if she thought she could wade the stream. She said she didn't know. I told her I believed I could. I said, "Well, I will see that you get across safely first." I thought I was head cook and bottle washer.

I told her to take a stick that was laying there to balance herself with. She did but the water was so swift and she hung to the stick till she was overbalanced and in she went. I told her to grab a limb on the log and hang on till I could get to her. The water was so swift it took me right off my feet the moment I got in. I grabbed the log with my arm and worked myself along to her, but couldn't do a thing. I put my arm around her and told her to let go and away we went down stream, the big waves turning us over and over. We tried to work ourselves over to the shallow side. There was a limb of a tree that hung almost flat with the water. She being on that side, I told her to grab it, which she did, and it broke off so down we went again. We gradually got to where it was shallow enough to get out. We were about strangled! Alice was the worst as she got water down her throat when she first fell in.

Well, we looked just like two drowned rats. Now we must get to the cook house without the men seeing us. It was only a few rods from the Mill on the west side. We ran to the house. When we got there we heard some men talking like they were in the house, so we peeked through the cracks and saw no one. Being all excited we couldn't open the door. We still thought there were men in there as we could hear them talking. We thought they had the door locked. We slipped around the corner again and peeked and peeked but saw no one, so we tried the door again and it came open immediately. Instead of met, it was oxen at the west end of the house.

We had to have dinner at noon, only 15 minutes. We made the fire, changed our clothes and got dinner all right. We never told what had happened until three weeks later. When they heard our story they said it was the biggest wonder in the world that we ever got out for it was all a man could do to wade that stream of water, it being at its highest in June. That is the South Fork of Provo River above Woodland.

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Some editorial license was used in telling this story. If you would like to read Lena's unedited version, you may go to her history. ~Venita

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