Ole Johnny Mudd suddenly felt himself swirled into the middle of an underground whirlpool and just as suddenly, he was cast out in the middle of a jungle. Instinctively he knew that he was in the middle of the Amazon rainforest of South America. It was so vast though, that he didn’t know whether he was in Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, or in French Guiana.
But it really didn’t matter, because there was a huge being in front of him with serpents wrapped around his forearms and hundreds of piranha fish with razor-sharp teeth swimming in and out of his watery depths. The piranha fish were sharpening their teeth against the stones in order to have them ready for whenever an unfortunate prey fell into the water, and they could immediately strip away his flesh all the way down to the bone. Ole Johnny Mudd knew that he was standing before the eldest brother of the Mississippi River.
The Mississippi River had revealed to him that sixteen percent of the world’s total fresh water supply flowed through the Amazon delta and out into the sea. The Amazon basin by itself was nine times the size of the entire state of Texas. But what really impressed Ole Johnny Mudd the most was the fact that a full fifty percent of the rainwater in the Amazon basin returned to the atmosphere by way of the foliage of its surrounding trees and that during its flood season, its waters could rise an average of thirty feet higher than normal. Only its younger brother, the Nile River was longer than the Amazon.
The Amazon River was majestic, because he knew that he fostered all kinds of growth both in his waters and about the land that he irrigated. He wore a hat made out of alpaca wool. His broad smile spanned the entire length of his banks which were miles long. Tropical vegetation grew all around him. He had a servant named “The Chullachaquí,” which guarded his waters from desecration or pollution. He also kept his waters safe for the “bufeos colorados,” which were his rare pets, the pink dolphins of the Amazon River.
Ole Johnny Mudd was immediately fascinated by those pink dolphins, and he jumped into the water to join them in their frolicking. He loved how the playful creatures took a liking to him and how pleased they were to have a strange playmate from the American Southwest. In turn, the pink dolphins kept the fierce piranha fishes away from him.
The Amazon River was very friendly with Ole Johnny Mudd and offered him some mandica root to nourish him as he trekked through, going further south. As he continued walking, Ole Johnny Mudd found four sources of water that seemed to emanate from the very sun. They were the four tributaries of the mighty Paraná River. They were the Paranaiba, the Paraguay, the Uruguay and the Iguazú. Their many waters formed the basis of the Río Plata.
As Ole Johnny Mudd spoke to the solar source of the Paraná he learned that the river’s name came from the Tupi words "para rehe ondua," meaning “like the sea.”
These two brothers of the Mississippi River were as unique as he was. Each one had its own personality. Ole Johnny Mudd, however, wanted to see for himself just how the other brothers of the Father of Waters might be. Suddenly Ole Johnny Mudd felt himself caught up by another underground whirlpool and when he reappeared, he was standing on the burning sands of the desert in Egypt.
The Nile River contained some to the most recognized water since before Biblical days. If its waters could speak, what kinds of stories might they be able to tell?