This Calls For Brief Solution-Oriented Therapy
I was working at a kid's ranch with mainly abused, neglected kids. My group consisted of 9 boys, ages 12-15. We worked 48 hrs in 4 days, with hell day being a weekend day, a 15 hour workday. Man! All this for an amazing low salary....... This was in the summer, about 1981.
One Sunday we agreed on a nature journey down the Pecan Bayou (central Texas). Though it was hotter n' hell, it beat hanging around the "ranch" doing nothing for 15 long hours. The kids stayed within sight for about the first 45 minutes, but the older kids started to get further and further ahead. A few kids walked along the edge of the bayou (a slow moving muddy creek of sorts), and the rest of us were up on a slight ledge, about 10 feet from the waters edge. As I was about to yell my warning for the "scouts" to slow down and let us catch up, I heard THEIR yell for help. We ran for 30 seconds or so to catch them, and I was horrified to see Drew pulling himself out of what appeared to be a muddy hole, but James still stuck. As he struggled to get out, he sank from his knees to mid-thigh. He was clearly sinking in front of my eyes! I yelled for him to stop struggling, but panic ruled, and he put it into overdrive to extricate himself. This resulted in his sinking further. I might have seen this on Bonanza or the Rifleman, but hey, I'm a cityboy from California, not Pa Cartwright. I was having a stinkin' heart attack. I grabbed a dead tree branch off the ground and fed it to James, all the while assuring him to calm down and everything was going to be alright. However, when the rotted branch snapped in half two seconds after he grabbed it, my credibility was seriously diminished. This caused him to thrash about again, and he was down to his waist. As I broke off a long tree branch, he sobbingly informed me he thought his feet were touching something. He stopped sinking, I started pulling, and he slowly came out. He lost both boots in the struggle. His jeans turned to very stinky cement on the painful journey back, and he couldn't even bend his pants at the knee when we arrived at the ranch. We ended up throwing away the pants, and he didn't sleep a wink that night. Some of the older countryboys told me they had always heard the bayou had pockets of quicksand somewhere about, but they had never seen any. I sincerely hoped I would never see any more.
What an introduction to my profession.........