Don't Take The Child


Bonnie M. Wells

* indicates name has been changed:

*Teressa and *Lee didn't know Mrs. Carroll, but *Jace did. She was an elderly neighbor of Jace's and had been for several years. And of course Jace knew Teressa and Lee .... thank God. Otherwise things might have turned out much differently.

It all started when Mrs. Caroll phoned Jace to tell her about a dream she'd just woke up from. It was so vivid that the old lady was still shaken as she told it to her neighbor.

Some people were in a boat, paddling along in a gentle stream. A small child sat by his mother in the boat, and the two seemed to be enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Suddenly the water became swifter and darker. The paddles didn't seem able to control the direction of the small craft and the dreamer watched in horror as the boat capsized and everyone disappeared beneath the turbulent waters.

Jace didn't want to alarm her neighbor any more than she already was, so she didn't mention the fact that as the woman recounted the dream, she thought of Teressa and Lee and their little two year old son *Kylee.

As soon as their conversation ended Jace called Teressa and asked if she and Lee had any plans for the week end, and Terresa replied that they planned on going canoeing on the Hughs River with her brother *Dan.

"You aren't taking Kylee, are you?" Jace asked.

Teressa admitted that they had indeed planned on taking the child. It was beutiful weather. According to reports the river was in good condition and not very deep in most areas. In fact a person could walk across it almost anywhere they chose, and she thought Kylee would enjoy the trip as much as the adults. With two men to paddle and steer the canoe, she didn't see how any of them could be in any danger.

Jace was not convinced. The elderly woman's dream had frightened her too.

More to pacify Jace than from any real fear Teressa agreed that Kylee could stay with Jace for the day.


Saturday dawned bright and clear. The trio took Kylee to Jace's house, and headed for their planned canoe ride down the Hughs River in West Virginia.

The old timers that lived along the Hughs River could probably have told the canoers that the river had a "reputation." There was an undercurrant in some areas that could be wicked .... as many swimmers at one beach area could attest to.

Lee sat in the front of the canoe, Teressa in the center and Dan brought up the rear. The men used the paddles to row and steer while Teressa enjoyed the wilderness scenery as they made their way down the beautiful river.

They hadn't traveled very far when Teressa began to notice the water wasn't as clear as it had been. She could no longer look over the side of the canoe and see the pepples in the water. It seemed swifter than earlier too. She wasn't really frightened at this point though because the canoe still traveled smoothly, and neither man appeared concerned.

Only minutes later Teressa noticed the water had "picked up speed!" The canoe was traveling much faster now and the two men were having more difficulty guiding it.

About the time that Teressa decided to say something to her husband about the changes in the water, she looked ahead a few hundred feet and saw a huge tree that had fallen into the water. Apparently the fall had split the tree because she could see two large branches sticking up out of the water. She wondered where the main trunk of the tree was and how far beneath the water's surface it lay.

The currant pulled the canoe dangerously close to the big tree in spite of the men's efforts to steer clear of it.

As the men paddled frantically, the canoe made its way between the two large branches.

All Teressa heard was the sickening sound of the bottom of the canoe ripping apart, before it rolled to one side and sunk beneath the murky waters!

Teressa and Lee grabbed hold of the tree branches and pulled themselves above the water while Dan chose to go with the current and swim across the river.

A nearby neighbor came to the aide of the boaters, and they were exceptionally thankful that Teressa's purse was the only thing lost in the Hughs River that fateful day.


It's been more than twenty years since the canoe trip. Mrs. Carroll is now deceased, but Teressa continues to credit the woman's dream; Jace's recognition of the dream; and her own willingness to accept the supernatural, with saving the life of her son, because even today, after all this time she admits that it was about all they could do to save themselves that day, and had the child been with them, he may very well have perished in the river.

This story is a true story. The events happened. The dream occured. It is a "web site exclusive" and does not appear in the Pure Coincidence Book Series at this time:

All names have been changed with the exception of the dreamer. Until I designed this web site, there really was no way of giving credit to those individuals who had dreams that saved lives and fortold of important events.

I never knew Mrs. Carroll, but I do know the other people who her dream was about, including the child who is now a grown man with a family of his own.


Bonnie M. Wells




Starlight Inner-Prizes

Page posted: May 2004

This page is part of the February 2006 / 2007 story collection: