Someone asked about bridges the other day, so it got me to thinking of the ones I’ve come across (pun intended).:)
I’d say the first bridge I can remember hearing about was not a real, in this world, bridge. It was in a story book for children. The story was “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” in a Rand McNally and Company Book. It was adapted from a Norwegian folk tale by Alice O’Grady and Frances Throop.
The story goes…there were three little goats who wanted to cross the bridge to eat the green grass on the other side. However, a mean troll lived under the bridge, and challenged them whenever they started to cross. The goats were afraid of the troll, but in the end, they tricked the troll, and were able to go across.
I had this story read to me so many times, I memorized it word for word, even before I could read. In fact, I still have this very same book, all these years later. So, now I’m thinking, that story was kind of scary for little kids, what with the mean old troll…guess that was the first time I’d heard of trolls, too. Now I hear of online trolls…still obnoxious, like in the story book.
Before I get off on a whole other tangent about scary childhood stories, let me get back on track with the bridges. Scary fairy tales and nursery rhymes will be for another day.
Here’s a bridge story I remember…
On a hot, steamy summer day, out in the east Texas Piney Woods, me, my mother-in-law, and I believe it was her sister, went driving down an old, overgrown road. It didn’t look like anyone had been down this road in ages, as the lush, green trees and bushes had grown up, almost covering the dirt road. Why were we out there, driving around in the woods? My mother-in-law wanted to show me where she once lived, somewhere in the area. Anyway, we were enjoying the ride, even though it was so hot out. I was not used to all this greenery, and steamy atmosphere, at all. Being from west Texas, where it is hot, but dry and dusty, was my regular habitat.
Soon, we came to this old, decrepit, wooden bridge. It was spanning what was called Scatter Creek. We stopped right before going over it, just to take a better look at the thing. It didn’t look very safe, at all. It was old, there were gaps in the wooden planks, and looked rickety. We debated whether to go on across…I mean, it was made for cars to cross over, but it had certainly been a long time since anyone had tried it, I’m sure. We all got out of the car, to have a closer look. Then we just walked across.
It held us up, so why not try it in the car? I can’ believe we actually did this! So giggling at the crazy situation, we did drive across the bridge…very slow, listening to the creaking timbers, all the while praying we wouldn’t break the bridge. Whew! We’d made it across.
I have no remembrance of seeing where Mom used to live. I don’t even remember how we got back to the main highway to go home. Now, it is just one fun/scary story we’ve told over and over through the years.
I’ll tell another scary bridge story real soon! Hope you enjoyed this one!