In my childhood, my pals and I usually went to a river in our spare time, enjoying ourselves. I will never forget the river. In my memory, the river was charming. Both sides of it were crowded with reeds and water-plants. You could see some birds flying in and out of the reeds. The water flew quietly, while some naughty fishes were swimming here and there, making the river ripple gently. Some people were fond of fishing along the river, carefree and content. There were many other intriguing creatures in the river. The river was full of life and was just fantastic.
My pals and I were keen on catching fishes and crabs in the river. We rolled up the trouser legs, took off the shoes, then got down to our real business—to catch fishes and crabs. Every time, we could catch a lot of fishes, most of which were little ones. Occasionally, we harvested a bigger fish and we broke into cheers immediately. We dug out some earthworms as baits and tied them to a line, then put them in front of the crab's hole. At first, the crab would sound out whether the bait was safe. After a while, it began to eat the bait. No sooner had it clamp the bait than we pulled the line in. Well done!
At that time, there were few factories and tall buildings in the city. Along the river, there were spacious areas. The grasses there were as green as the water-plants in the river. After supper, people would gather in groups along the river to take a rest, chatting and laughing, what a comfortable life!
As time passed by, I went to the river less. Finally, I didn't go there any more. Since then, I haven't been to the river for many years until one day, I came across one of my childhood pals. He reminded me of the river. At that very moment, I realized how much I missed the river. This ineffable feeling got so strong that I decided to visit the old haunt again.
On my way back to the river, I watched the city through the window of the coach. The city was so familiar and so strange. It had changed a lot.
I arrived at the vicinity of the river. I found that our childhood paradise—the spacious areas had disappeared. Instead, there were many tall buildings along the river. As I got closer to the river, I smelt some offensive odor. Was it from the river? When I saw the river, I can hardly recognize it. I couldn't find one piece of green in the river, let alone fishes. The sight was dreary. Black and dirty silt piled up along both sides, with lots of rubbish on the surface. The water looked terrible. The river was dead. I sighed with despair: my river had disappeared.
Then some children came up, carrying fishing rods and pails. I asked curiously and hopefully, "Are you going fishing? In this river?" one boy answered quite surprisingly, "Absolutely not! It is disgusting. Don't you think? We are going to a fishing-pond. It costs very little." I saw in their eyes deep contempt for the river. My river, my paradise in childhood, had disappeared.
When I was about to leave, I saw some industrial liquid wastes flowing into the river through a pipe. The river flew silently, because it had no chance to protest. There was only silence.
On my way home, I watched the city through the coach window again. I saw those children once more, carrying fishing rods and empty pails. They seemed unhappy. With no fishes in the river, no green on the land and no nature surrounding, would they be happy again?