The Aqueduct with a Leak
The aqueduct has a hole in it. In fact, it has many, many holes. If you stand beside the river Lune, below the canal’s mighty arches, you’ll see the drips…. Or even feel them plop merrily upon your head.
One little drip would be no problem at all. Nor two nor three nor a thousand. But a million drips slipping through the stone arches will eventually become two million and ten million drips until there’s barely a drops worth of drips left in the canal itself.
The narrow boats would beach on the muddy bottom and the ducks would waddle unhappily amongst the rusty shopping trollies. Old men would continue to sit broodingly with their lines stretched over the fishless sludge and small children would prod cheerfully at the slime with ever longer and more precarious sticks until they tumbled head over heels into the murky gloop below.
Mercifully, the aqueduct builders foresaw this predicament. They calculated that all the drips added together to make exactly one half bucket every fortnight. With their leftover stone, they built a little cottage beside the aqueduct and appointed a hereditary Bucket Warden whose job it was to refill the canal. Even today, his great-great granddaughter still lives in the house. You might spot her on the aqueduct every second Tuesday with a long frayed rope and that same old bucket- half full of water.
Even to this day, thanks to the tireless work and dedication from generations of Bucket Wardens the canal in the aqueduct over the River Lune has never ever run dry…