When we first went to Taemas, we had neither money nor water, so we had to have a hole-in-the-ground loo. My father sited it on the edge of the ridge behind the house. Digging it was a major undertaking. The Boys (as we collectively called my father and brothers) attacked it like the beginnings of an archaeological dig. A hole, one and a half metres square, that went straight down. All they unearthed was limestone rocks.
to find the critters
a child geologist
the child finds
They were up to their hips when they hit rock. Solid limestone. But there is some crazy streak of determination in my family, so they kept digging.
Dad said, ‘It would be good to know the strata of the soil.’
Soil it wasn’t, they broke rock for another two metres. Goodness knows what they wanted to find.
‘Oh, well,’ said Dad, ‘at least we won’t fill it up for a while.’ But the very first wet season it filled up to the level of the rock and never drained. It didn’t matter; it saw us out.
Dad and Dave (not kidding, that was their names) built a three-sided tin shed around it, with a canvas for a door. Not that there was anyone in any direction to see, so when the poddy calf sheltered there to escape the rain, and ate the door, it didn’t matter. We had the best view of any toilet.
on the loo
a small child