Michaela Merz

A call to the culprits

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This autumn can scarcely be beaten for its uniqueness. It is dry, warm, sunny and colourful. With my youngest we take advantage of the autumn holidays and the fine weather and are often out and about. A quick trip by train to the mountains and hiking to the Bachalbsee 2000 metres up by picture book weather, cycling to the rope park and experiencing the risk-free thrills of climbing in the airy heights of the tree tops, scooting through the sun-baked city or losing oneself and then finding one’s way again in the apple labyrinth in the Juckerfarm.

We are drawn to the lake. With our stand-up paddle and our inflatable canoe we are well equipped. Despite the relatively warm weather we are well protected, in order to be sure that, if we fall into the lake, we don’t get cold. You never know. Our excursions were simply great, unmatched. The sun was reflected on the water, the surrounding mountains were clothed in autumnal red and yellow and the silence and calm created in us a wonderful inner peace. We told each other stories, enjoyed the water, light, sun and being together.

Shortly before noon we landed on the shore and decided to have a snack and then to travel back. We both drew our equipment up on the shore and locked them together. After about three quarters of an hour we were back again. An unpleasant surprise awaited us. Someone had burnt a hole in our canoe. I thought that someone had thoughtlessly thrown away a cigarette end and the heat had made a hole in the canoe. I looked for the cigarette end, but there wasn’t one. The probability that someone had thoughtlessly thrown away a cigarette end and then made the effort to pick it up, is low. Perhaps it wasn’t a cigarette, but a glass and, with the help of the sun, someone had made a great effort to burn a hole. I was shocked, annoyed, speechless. What sort of person must that be who makes the effort to damage someone else intentionally.

I looked at the hole with the black edges and was simply only sad. There was no way we could still use the canoe. But we didn’t let the afternoon be spoiled by a creep. We hid the canoe in the foliage so that later we could fetch it with the car and then my youngest took up position at the front of the stand-up paddle and we set out on the lake to make our way back. It sounds easy, but those who have tried it, know that one can quickly topple over. With two it is even more demanding, because my board is very narrow. Keeping one’s balance together is a great challenge. When motor boats sped by, I always had to kneel down, to be sure that we didn’t both fall head over heels into the water. But we managed it and despite a few difficult situations, neither of us fell into the water that afternoon. This unexpected challenge was a lot of fun and we were reluctant to climb off the board. The canoe can certainly be repaired and so out of malice was born a great adventure.

I call upon the culprits to make a donation to Caritas to make good the damage.

   

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