Moncton — As you grow up, you learn to leave behind the wonders and fantasies of childhood, whether it’s finding out Santa Claus is your dad, or that the Easter bunny and the toothfairy don’t actually live together in a magical realm with rainbows and butterflies.
For Monctonians, that extra jab at our childhood innocence is finding out that the Petitcodiac River, or more colloquially the “Chocolate River” isn’t, in fact, made of chocolate.
For six-year-old Dawson Peterson, that reality came crashing down face first this past long weekend, and it wasn’t very sweet. The child managed to make his way down to the waterfront during the Canada 150 celebrations where he stuck his head into the murky river and started taking gulps of what he thought would be sweet, chocolatey goodness.
“We took our eyes off of him for one second and he was gone,” the boy’s mother said.
Dawson was later found by the riverside with tears in his eyes, still cupping some of the muddy water in his hands.
“He was absolutely distraught! He looked like his whole life had been a lie,” the mother continued. “We had always joked and called it the ‘Chocolate River’ but we never thought he would take it literally.”
Dawson was taken to the hospital as a precaution but is expected to make a full recovery with the exception of a strong aversion to Northumberland chocolate milk.
The boy’s mother is urging other parents to reconsider calling the Petitcodiac River the “Chocolate River” around impressionable children.