One of the earliest lessons that my father taught me on how to live was one morning on the dairy near
. In Glendale Arizona, if you grow anything from the soil, you do it with water from reservoirs above Phoenix on the Salt River. By a series of earth rows, you channel the water to spread over the land and irrigate your crop. The water came to you in ditches, and was directed out on to the land.
These ditches were about three feet deep.
We had a pair of Collie dogs. The female had given birth to puppies about a week before. Mother Collie was out near the ditch, leading her brood in single file. I found it great sport to pick up a puppy, throw it in the water, watch it disappear, then reappear and swim out. I had tossed in the fourth puppy, when I felt a force on the collar of my shirt, lifting me up, and then releasing me into the ditch. I went under the water, was thoroughly convinced that I was going to drown, came up, and stood on the bottom so that my head and shoulders were out of the water. My father was there, leaning on his shovel. He looked at me with no emotion on his face and asked, “How does it feel when it happens to you?”
I found that question is one a person should ask themselves frequently.