“Put your hand in the pool,” Rose said. “Seriously.”
Emma approached the edge of the pool and reluctantly put her fingertips into the dark blue water. “Wow, it’s hot,” she exclaimed.
“Really?” Max and Brody asked. They both put their hands into the soothing water.
“How is it so hot when it is snowing outside?” Emma asked.
“This isn’t a normal swimming pool. It’s called a bore bath,” Rose said.
“What is a bore bath?” Max asked.
“It is a hot spring from deep underground and there is so much pressure from the rocks that the water gets pushed up to the surface. The people who lived here built the concrete part around it to make it more like a swimming pool and anyone can get in and swim around for free,” Rose explained.
“That is so neat,” Brody said. “I wish we could swim in there.”
“We can. There are always extra swimsuits in the changing rooms around the edge of the pool.” Rose pointed to the wooden sheds. “You just have to leave them in the basket over there so the people who work here can wash them later. Come on.”
The four kids raced to the closest changing sheds. They each found a room with a suit that fit and had a dry place to leave their clothes. Without coats, they were very cold after walking around Lightning Ridge as the snow fell. As soon as they were all changed, they took turns running and jumping into the pool like a cannon ball.
Aspen chose a comfortable edge of the pool and hung her front paws in the water. She watched intently and jumped when a splash of water came near her spot.
The kids swam for over an hour before they realized how hot they were getting. Max, Rose, and Brody pulled themselves out of the pool and sat along the edge with their feet dangling into the water. Emma was happy to keep performing cannonballs, splashing the others as they sat.
“You should probably rest for a minute Emma,” Rose said. “You can overheat in the bore bath pretty easily because the water is hotter than a normal shower.”
“Oh, I’m fine,” Emma said. She hopped out of the pool and stepped as far back as she could from the pool along the backside of the changing rooms. She took off at a run. As fast as she could, Emma leaped into the air, tightened her arms and legs into a ball and splash landed in the pool. A huge wave of water shot into the air with a loud THUMP then showered Brody, Max, Rose, and Aspen like a rain storm.
“Aah, Emma!” they screamed. When the wave subsided, they looked toward the pool to yell at Emma but she was gone.
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