I think kids would probably have to have a dozen consent forms, permission slips and parent helpers enforcing the buddy system, before they would be allowed to play near devouring depths in today’s world.

Primary School from Hell
Chapter Three: The Devouring Depths

[Continuing from]

Across the parking lot from those doors of doom was a woods and somewhere that woods, past the overgrown trails, was a bog-like body of water knows as Crawley’s Pond. The name itself would give any five year old the creeps. It was named after Old Man Crawley, who, urban myth as told by the boys in grade three had it, lived in a cabin on the far side of the pond. He would occasionally capture any student dim-witted enough to wander the trails alone. Dragging his prey back to his cabin the old man would then proceed to eat his capture, or at least, eat parts. Many times during recess or lunch I stood on this edge of that very pond, but never, ever alone. That was as far as we would go, even though the trail went further along the edge, we would never dare follow that path to Old Man Crawley’s side. We would just stand here and look across, never actually seeing the rumoured cabin, but imagining that it did exist, somewhere just through the trees. After all, those grade three boys wouldn’t lie to us about something like that would they?


There was a second tale about Crawley’s Pond that would haunt us as we looked out over the foul smelling water. Chilling our five year old souls. This story told of an attempt to fill in the pond years before. A huge bulldozer was brought in to complete the task, but with the bottom of the pond nothing but bog, the tractor was sucked into the mire and the doomed operator didn’t even have time to jump clear, and was said to have perished with his machine. To this day the they have never been able to recover the body for the tractor still sinks in the unending depths of this bog hole dragging the corpse with it.

So the woods next to the school was always a place of fear and concerned whenever we decided to play there.


One thought on “Thought 156: The Devouring Depths

  1. I never saw Crawley’s pond. But I had a friend who was a cousin of the people who owned the hotel by the school, Jackman’s Hotel. She would visit her cousins regularly since she just lived further up Memorial Ave. And I often heard her mention old man Crawley. The interesting thing to remember is that she was talking about him in the ’60s . I didn’t realize he was a legend until I read your accounts which are in the ’70’s. I wonder how far back the stories go about him.
    I am really enjoying your writing.

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