An old wooden bridge built across a narrow ravine provided a short cut for generations of schoolchildren walking to school. But at the time of this story, the bridge was so rickety and rotten that children were warned in no uncertain terms to stay away from that bridge. Of course, such warnings couldn't keep certain children away, even to save their lives.
So far, the bridge has stood the ravages of time. There was talk of demolishing the bridge, and even replacing it with a brand-new much-stronger bridge. But so far, nothing had come of the talk.
This particular summer day, two apparent eleven-year-old girls were holding hands and walking through the fields, chatting and enjoying the companionship and the outdoors. If one looked close enough, one would still see two girls, unless one already knew them. In that case, one would see residual signs that Taylor was really a boy in disguise.
You see, besides ordering her to keep away from the bridge, Reese's parents have barred her from being alone with boys. Of course, this had as much success with Reese as the bridge prohibition did. Taylor simply disguised herself as a girl whenever she visited.
Unfortunately, the pleasant stroll through the fields was interrupted by an abrasive voice from a good distance away: "Hey look! Taylor thinks he's a girl, and he's holding hands with a girl."
Reese and Taylor both turned toward the voice. A big boy, followed by other big boys, were all running toward the girls. "Let's get'em!"
Reese and Taylor turned and ran. The chase was on. Reese ran as fast as she could. She glanced back, and saw Taylor a few yards behind her, but the bullies rapidly gained on them.
Reese noticed only just then that they were running toward the old little bridge. Because of the warnings against it, she had contrarily not only crossed the bridge numerous times, she'd explored all parts of it.
"This way!" she shouted, as she turned and ran directly toward the bridge, adding a spurt of speed. She ran onto the bridge and crossed it, and heard Taylor's footsteps right behind her.
"Down here!" She turned and clambered down to a ledge hidden under the end of the bridge, just behind the crevice below. Taylor had just begun her climb down to the ledge, when the boys reached the bridge. They could hear the boys tramping on the bridge, and frighteningly, they heard the bridge groan, creak, and crack, and swing and sway.
Taylor joined Reese on the ledge, puffing from the running and the climb down. She was only able to huff, "Do you think--" before the bridge broke through and parts fell down on them both.
"Taylor!" screamed Reese, worried about her friend.
"I'm still here, and mostly okay -- I think." Taylor pushed her way to Reese, took her in her arms, and gave her a good long kiss, which Reese gladly reciprocated.
Reese looked down into the crevice. The bullies were apparently all there. A couple were struggling to get up.
"We should get help for those boys," said Taylor, as she began to climb back up to the surface.
"Definitely," agreed Reese. She turned and look back at the bridge remains. "I never thought I'd see this bridge finally collapse -- especially standing underneath it."
You see, the bridge wasn't bad. It was merely miss-understood.
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