There I stood for a moment, not moving. Perhaps I was frozen in fear at the trouble I might get into at home for ruining yet another pair of drawers. Or maybe because something unknown had just slithered past my leg in the murk. Then I heard my friend Thomas holler from atop the drainpipe, "What are you doing? Put it in - put the damn thing in!" He was directing me to put the shrimping net we had borrowed from my dad into the water... suddenly, I remembered what I was supposed to be doing and who I was. My name was Pete, a girl named Pete, and I had crawdads to catch. My thoughts always displayed such conviction and confidence. I am a pint sized warrior, I thought to myself. I could take a punch and although I couldn't catch a fish to save my life... I was always willing to jump in the water. "I am Pete...!" I screamed silently.
Thomas' voice grabbed my attention yet again, and I splashed the net deep into the pool just outside the mouth of the pipe. It was here that the smelly water that had just run off the road from a summer storm flowed the most swift. It was here that the tiny little, hard-shelled, red creatures we call crawdads were most likely to be caught. After what felt like a long while... I pulled my net to the surface and there they were. I had caught at least 15 of the miniature lobsters. I had hit pay dirt and pure excitement had already begun to cloud my judgment. Moments earlier I had been only knee deep in the warm, thick water of the ditch. Now, I was well past my waist, and the combination of mud and weeds had begun to leave a dirty ring around my t-shirt. When I finally emerged up the banks of the ditch on the far side away from the highway, I looked as though I had been the victim of a terrible flood. There were bits of black dirt still clinging to my legs along with a watery ring around my chest, which made it appear as if I had barely escaped death. One would think that at this very moment I would have realized that I ruined yet another pair of underwear and would surely be in trouble when I returned home. But as I peered into the bucket half filled with the scurrying creatures, and felt the Florida heat beat down on my back causing sweat to run streaks through the dirt on my face, I experienced nothing but pride. Thomas and I contemplated for a moment which of our moms would be willing to cook up our catch. Mine it was, as always, and with this decided we headed home, our bucket, crawdads, and nets in hand. As the water and muck squished out of my shoes with each step, leaving a trail of our adventure behind, we felt more satisfied than we could have ever imagined.