When they began to open up the old college no one remembered how wide the grounds had once been. All on a hilltop and all grown over now. The building had not been occupied for thirty years, but the grounds had been neglected since the college closed its doors in 1916. And so there were oaks that a man could barely reach around and beeches some forty feet high. On one edge there was a stand of sycamores and that should have been a hint, but no one had any idea that there was a pond hidden under one hundred years of forest sediment. When they drove the backhoe in to lift out the felled logs, the ground gave way beneath and the old pond was discovered. It was not a man-made feature, but a spring-fed, limestone-walled basin that was fifteen feet deep in the middle. The state tested the water and found it to be pure enough for drinking and not long after it had been uncovered children in the neighborhood began to catch fish in it. Sunfish. Mottled gold and blue, like some tropical creature.
In the summer, that edge of the yard stayed cooler and attracted bluebirds, hummingbirds and tanagers.