Hello Chums,

With all the rain we've been having Ed thought it was time we ran a story about the floods so, he sent me down to Grumbly Bottom to interview old Walter Bayleaf, whose job is to open and close the sluice-gate which controls the level of the village pond.

Walter has been responsible for the task for 'forty years, man and boy' but, as he went on to tell me, things haven't always gone smoothly.

'Back in '89,' he confessed, 'I slept clean through a big old storm and, when I woke up in the morning, the houses all along the village street were under a foot of water! After that the villagers promised to phone and keep me informed if the pond looked in danger of overflowing.

'A couple of weeks later I'd turned-in early but was roused by the ringing of the telephone and when, still half asleep, I lifted the receiver, a voice said, 'High water!'

'I leapt out of bed, grabbed a coat and a pair of wellies and ran out to the sluice. It was pitch dark but I found my way by holding onto the rail that runs around the pond.

I wound like mad on the handle that closed off the flow and stumbled back to bed.

Next morning, when I looked out, the ducks were sharing a small puddle of water with about five-hundred fish and the rest was a giant patch of mud!

'It turned out that there hadn't even been any rain and my caller had been saying, "Hi, Walter!" not "High water!" ‘.

See you soon Luv Junior