In thirty seconds they were out of sight around a bend in the road..
I was yelling, the three parents were yelling and so was the guidance councilor. We walked briskly down the road to the old dock. Half the class were standing waist deep in the water. The new boy had ran to the edge and without hesitation, jumped in. Half the class followed.
The parents, the councilor and I knew this was a bad omen. A harbinger of worse things to come.
We got the children out of the water and at the edge of the marsh we had to cross. No path could be seen, only the tops of the marsh grass swaying in the ankle deep water. I pointed at a dead tree across the marsh. One parent was going to lead us across the uncharted territory. She started off, splashing water in every direction with a column of students close behind.
She stepped into an unseen mosquito ditch. In an instant, she was knee deep in mud and waist deep in water. The children jumped up and down in joy. This was the greatest field trip they had ever been on and it wasn’t even lunch time. We made it across with half the students looking for mosquito ditches to jump into.