The Pond is a scary story about two young boys who go swimming one hot Summer’s day. This story is also known as The Pond on the Back Forty or Pond of Snakes.
It was a hot summer day and two brothers had finished all their chores on the farm. Their parents were in town in the pickup, and the boys decided to cool off with a swim in the stock pond on the back forty acres of the farm. Their father had always told them not to swim there, to walk a mile down to the creek instead, where it was cooler and the water wasn’t dark.
“Don’t ever swim in that pond on the back forty,” their dad would say. “Go on down to the creek where the water’s clear.”
But the boys were tired and didn’t feel like walking that far; the pickup was in town and the tractor was low on gas. They decided to walk the short distance to the pond. Their dad would never know.
The sun was burning down and the water at the edge of the pond was warm, but the western side of the pond, which had an earthen dam, was shaded by both the dam and a tree. The muddy, brown water was cool enough there.
The older boy got out of his sweaty overalls quicker, and dove into the murky water while the younger boy was still taking his shoes off. The older boy came up in the shady part of the pond, and shook his head and laughed. Then he dove back under the water with his feet kicking up above the surface of the pond before sinking into the “solid” brown water.
Just as the younger boy was walking into the warm mud at the edge of the pond, getting ready to dive in and cool off, his older brother came out of the water right in the center of the pond. The older boy shot up out of the dark water past his waist. Sinking back into the water he began to shout. “Go back! Don’t come in! Go get Dad!”
The younger brother stood staring at the older boy as he sank back under the brown surface. “Don’t come in!” screamed the older kid. “Go back! Go get Dad!” And his head disappeared under the water.
The youngster ran as fast as his bare feet would carry him back along the dirt road to the barn. The pickup was just pulling into the yard. The boy raced up to his father and told him what had happened. “Oh, my God;’ said the father. “Come on!”
The younger boy, out of breath, had to run hard to keep up with his father. The man ran into the barn and grabbed a grubbing hoe, then tore on down the dirt track to the back forty. The man began to dig away at the earthen dam that formed the hillside pond, tearing the dirt up with his digging hoe at the lowest point in the dam.
The older brother was nowhere in sight. First, dirty water trickled out of the trench the man was digging, then it began to pour and cut its way through the weakened dam, rushing in snaky, brown waves past the furiously working man. Gradually the flat, silt floor of the pond became visible.
There lay the older boy, his body wet and swollen. At first the boy looked like he was starting to move in the now-shallow water. Then the younger brother saw what it was… crawling across the body of his brother. A gray water moccasin, the poisonous “cotton-mouthed” snake. Then another. Then another. By the time all the water had drained from the pond, the body of the older boy was covered by hundreds of gray snakes, twisting and rolling, the yellow-and-gray spots on their underbellies flashing in the hot sun.