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When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. Not because of any fear of drowned worms or wet stockings; I was by and large a grubby child, with a blissful disregard for filth of any kind.It was because I couldn't bring myself believe that that perfect smooth expanse was no more than I thin film of water over solid earth. I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space. Sometimes, seeing the tiny ripples caused by my approach, I thought the puddle impossibly deep, a bottomless sea in which the lazy coil of a tentacle and gleam of scale lay hidden, with the threat of huge bodies and sharp teeth adrift and silent in the far-down depths.And then, looking down into reflection, I would see my own round face and frizzled hair against a featureless blue sweep, and think instead that the puddle was the entrance to another sky. If I stepped in there, I would drop at once, and keep on falling, on and on, into blue space.The only time I would dare walk though a puddle was at twilight, when the evening stars came out. If I looked in the water and saw one lighted pinprick there, I could slash through unafraid--for if I should fall into the puddle and on into space, I could grab hold of the star as I passed, and be safe.Even now, when I see a puddle in my path, my mind half-halts--though my feet do not--then hurries on, with only the echo of the though left behind.What if, this time, you fall?

When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. Not because of any fear of drowned worms or wet stockings; I was by and large a grubby child, with a blissful disregard for filth of any kind.It was because I couldn’t bring myself believe that that perfect smooth expanse was no more than I thin film of water over solid earth. I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space. Sometimes, seeing the tiny ripples caused by my approach, I thought the puddle impossibly deep, a bottomless sea in which the lazy coil of a tentacle and gleam of scale lay hidden, with the threat of huge bodies and sharp teeth adrift and silent in the far-down depths.And then, looking down into reflection, I would see my own round face and frizzled hair against a featureless blue sweep, and think instead that the puddle was the entrance to another sky. If I stepped in there, I would drop at once, and keep on falling, on and on, into blue space.The only time I would dare walk though a puddle was at twilight, when the evening stars came out. If I looked in the water and saw one lighted pinprick there, I could slash through unafraid–for if I should fall into the puddle and on into space, I could grab hold of the star as I passed, and be safe.Even now, when I see a puddle in my path, my mind half-halts–though my feet do not–then hurries on, with only the echo of the though left behind.What if, this time, you fall?

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