The Teenage Prank That's Lasted 60 Years
I was a bored high schooler when I made up a harmless story about the creature from the sandpits. Decades later, its legend still haunts our small Southern town.
The gears of a warm spring day quickly downshifted in the late afternoon, and before twilight a cold front blew in, plunging the mercury more than 15 degrees. In search of dinner, Scottie and I rounded the edges of pond after pond at the sandpits, looking and looking. We saw not a single frog. We heard not one deep-throated bellow. In Southern towns where creeks and ponds proliferate, frogging is not unusual. What followed, however, was. Quite.
After darkness fell on the unusually cool evening, Scottie and I loaded our gear into my old 1949 Plymouth Coupe (bought for $50) and headed for the sandpits near the golf course on the edge of town. I knew from prior hunts that our quarry was there by the dozens.
Decades before, truckloads of sand had been dug and hauled out for construction and cement. Left abandoned were about 25 gaping holes — large and small, deep and shallow. Over the decades, rain filled them. In time, water lilies and c…