Class ended a few minutes early, so the girls and I headed out to the drain. We tried flashlights and I was lying on the concrete slab trying to see inside, but the angle was such that all I could see was the little ladder inside the manhole. This gave me inspiration and I ran back to the garage to get the best tools I could find...a hammer and a screwdriver. The screwdriver proved ineffective, but the hammer was very useful in prying the manhole cover partially off the hole. WOW, those covers are incredibly heavy!!! By the time I had gotten a corner lifted, one of the moms had arrived and came over to help me drag it off. I was pretty afraid someone was going to lose a toe, but thankfully we were okay. Once the cover was off, we could look down inside the hole - and great joy! There was Miss Nellie O'Malley, resting facedown on the ground far below us. The girls were so thrilled to at least see her, but I still had to get her out.
I ran into the house to get tennis shoes and then carefully lowered myself into the hole.
Nellie was unscathed aside from a bit of grass debris in her hair and on her dress.
I brushed her off and handed her up! Getting out of the hole was a little more difficult than getting in, but it was definitely worth it when I heard the cheers and saw the look on Holli's face when her doll was saved.
So the adventure ended. Crazy thing - I'm dying to go back down in that hole and explore. It's creepy...but definitely cool.