The echo

At first I thought what if suddenly we had a flood. Crouching inside the drainage pipe I imagined what I couldn't see and made plans for the contingency. But the pipe was safe and the sky was clear. I had come to test the echo: to try my voice and hear what others heard when I said hello.

And soon I was taking all my friends. Two or three at a time would stoop under the boulevard, a little excited at something new we'd found that we could do.

We would shout our names and listen, then burst out laughing and hear ourselves in canon. We'd quiet down and try some singing or clapping in simple rhythms.

Others may have done some cursing but we were young and the talking echo seemed too much like a person. We sometimes spoke in whispers that the echo couldn't hear.

And others may have tried to crawl through to the other side. Darkness attracts some girls and boys. To them it is a problem to be solved.

But to us the pipe was just a toy and we thought that it was fun to hear ourselves come back from the damp unknown.

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