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The Towering `Flowerpots'

Don't play in the mud.''

Has your mom ever said that to you?

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Well, I once spent several hours playing in the mud. When I showed my mom photographs of it, she said she was glad that I did my own laundry these days.

Where did this happen, why, and how?

It all started with a picture of some big rocks.

My friend and I were camping in Eastern Canada. We spent a few days on Prince Edward Island, right near the Anne of Green Gables House, and had a grand time going to the beach, sightseeing, and picking lupine (tall purple wildflowers). When we had enough of camping, we started driving south to the Canada-United States border.

As we were driving down the coast of New Brunswick, my friend asked me: ``Want to stop at `the Rocks?' ''

The Rocks? ``Oh yeah,'' I said, remembering the Cape Hopewell rocks - the large, funny-looking rocks that are skinny on the bottom and fat on top - with pine trees growing out of them. Supposedly the difference between high tide and low tide is the greatest in the world there. All that water rushing in and out has made these giant rocks a geological phenomenon - or in other words, interesting rocks.

I read about ``the Rocks'' in a Canadian tourist magazine. They looked cool in the picture, but I wasn't awe-struck until I saw them in person. They are huge, towering rock monsters that look like upside-down pitchers. A lot of people call them flowerpot rocks - because they look like flowerpots with the trees on the top. ``Why don't they tip over?'' I wondered.

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When you first visit the flowerpot rocks, you look down on them from above. If it's high tide, you cannot see the bases of the flowerpots because the water covers them. But the view is pretty anyway. Low tide is best, because you can go down (a lot of stairs) and see the bottom of the rocks up close and play around, as long as you stay away from the ``danger'' signs and the tide isn't coming in too soon.

This is when my friend and I discovered how much fun mud can be.

We were the first ones there that morning. The air smelled salty, and it was very quiet.

We tried to keep away from the mud at first - to keep our sandals clean, but that was no good. Soon we were mushing and gushing around, stepping carefully so we didn't slip or get stuck. The mud was soft and felt really good between our toes. At its deepest parts, the mud came up to our shins. Good thing we wore shorts. Trying to get out of the deep mud caused a loud sound: ``shhhhlooook!''

After peeking into some of the caves at the bottom of the cliffs, we climbed on some smaller rocks by the sea. Black bubbly seaweed covered them like funny-looking hair. At high tide they would be underwater. (So would we, if we didn't go back in a few hours.)

Next, we decided to wash off a bit. We waded into the cold water and shook our feet. Everything seemed to come clean - even our sandals.

So then what did we do?

We got muddy again.

Only this time, we got mud on our faces. ``Natural face paint!'' my friend said as she drew a line down her nose and across her cheeks and forehead. I did the same. When the lines dried, they were light brown in color, although they cracked in places.

Soon, more tourists arrived. It made us laugh to watch them try to stay clean. One lady was wearing new white sneakers. They wouldn't stay white for long!

When these other tourists saw us, they smiled and realized that it's much better to give in to the mud than to try to avoid it. ``Someone has been having fun,'' one woman said.

It's not every day that you can play at the base of monster-sized flowerpots - or in the mud. `Kidspace' is a place on The Home Forum pages where kids can find stories that will spark imaginations, entertain with a tall tale, explain how things work, or describe a real-life event. These articles appear twice a month, usually on Tuesdays.

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