That Terrible Well


One has to ask : did Ambrose Bierce grow up on Scroonhoonpooge Farmyard, or an eerily exact replica of it? “The Old Oaken Bucket” – published  in The Wasp, 3rd November 1883 – begins thus:

With what anguish of mind I remember my childhood Recalled in the light of knowledge since gained, The malarious farm, the wet, fungus-grown wildwood, The chills then contracted that since have remained; The scum-covered duck pond, the pigsty close by it, The ditch where the sour-smelling house drainage fell, The damp, shaded dwelling, the foul barnyard nigh it – But worse than all else was that terrible well, And the old oaken bucket, the mould-crusted bucket, That moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.

2 thoughts on “That Terrible Well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.