Battle at Randolph Creek

I guess it might be a bit presumptuous to say the Lord was thinking of little boys when He made creeks. I think it would be fair, though, to say that there’s little else like a creek when it comes to entertaining a boy. Some of my favorite memories from the years when Paul and I were growing up in western Kentucky are from the creeks we played in on and near our farm. Creeks are a wonderland for kids.

There are snakes and snails and crawdad tails, fish and frogs and slippery logs. There are limbs and leaves and climbing where you please, holes and poles and tiny tadpoles. And, of course, tons of mud.

It was the mud that led to some of our most memorable moments when I took three of our grandsons over to Randolph Creek a couple of weeks ago.

Where Randolph Creek passes through and near Blair, Kansas, here in Doniphan County, it provides two creeks in one. In the shallower parts, water rolls across flat stones and bedrock, occasionally creating tiny riffles and eight-inch waterfalls. There are a few places where large boulders shoulder the channel and others where the stream has cut holes over three feet deep. Then, in some places, where the current slows, there is the mud.

Given the nature of young humanoids and the encouragement of an old guy who thinks fun is almost mandatory at some point on a blistering hot summer day, a mud fight seemed perfectly appropriate, if not inevitable.

At one place at the foot of the bluff, an eight-inch layer of mud covers the stone that bottoms the creek. The upper part was just a silty mush, not much good for throwing. But the lowest level was a sticky gray clay, almost perfect for throwing. This was the spot for the Battle at Randolph Creek.

There were ambushes and close quarter attacks, long range launches and mid-range volleys. In charges and retreats, mud flew through the air and splattered on bodies and boulders. No one was spared, not the smallest kid or the gray-bearded old guy. Well, at least the parts of his beard that weren’t covered with mud were gray.

Then, when the final truce had been called, in the nearest pool of the least muddied water, we washed away the stains of battle. At least, washed away what we could in the creek. Then, back at the house with the water hose. Finally, in the showers.

There are times when a great memory is more important than dignity. Especially when the grandkids live ten hours away. And whether or not the Lord was thinking of us when He made creeks, I’m quite sure He was watching us that day.

And I’m pretty sure He was smiling. He knows all about getting rid of stains.

H. Arnett

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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