I was wandering the web about a week ago and stumbled across a website called, “Slice of Life Sunday.” It is a meme site that helps one focus his/her thoughts on a specific topic, and share a related life scene.
This week’s prompts are:
1.) A Lesson Learned in My Youth
2.) A Flight of Fancy
Ha! I thought. I can do both of those with just ONE story. I hopped over to my other blog, The Grownups Wanted Us Dead, and fetched this back:
You’ve got to know that the best toy in the world for any kid is a tree with good climbing branches. When I was a kid we had several such trees in our neighborhood and in the summer we would spend more time in them than we did on the ground.
One tree in particular – a young pine – was our favorite. The tree was still very supple and one day when a group of us decided to see how high we could all climb, the tree began to lean. The higher we climbed the farther it leaned. Soon we were suspended just a few feet above the ground.
I don’t know whose idea it was, but somebody suggested we all jump out of the tree at the count of three. Then came the counting, the jumping and the landing. It all went surprisingly well.
After my friends crawled off the top of me and we sorted out which limbs belonged to whom, no one was hurt – much. There was a problem though. We were on the wrong side of the fence, in the Khol’s yard instead of the Jacobs’ yard. This meant that to climb the tree again we had to run through the Khol Orchard, scramble down the embankment, around the end of the fence, scramble back up the embankment, run across a small clearing and back into the stand of pines that housed our tree.
It really wasn’t much of a trip, 50 or 60 yards at most, but as we sprinted the course for the third time, I realized I was getting a little tired. After the fourth trip, as we were climbing the tree, I thought to myself, “I need a rest,” so I decided not to jump.
As the others prepared for departure, I snuggled up to the tree. I put my belly flush against the bark and wrapped my arms tight around the trunk. Handsome began counting …
One: I tightened my arms.
Two: I tightened my legs and crossed my ankles.
I landed flat on my back in the Jacobs’ dog run. When I opened my eyes Thor, the German Shepherd god of thunder, towered over me. Thor spent most of his daily energy trying to catch small children to snack on, and there I was delivered to him from heaven — literally.
Truthfully, at that moment I really wasn’t too concerned about Thor. Probably because I thought I was already dead. There was no air in my body. I could not breathe.
As I lay there gasping … choking … convulsing, Thor raised his ears in curiosity, tipped his head sideways and smiled at me.
About that time my friends arrived, stopping safely out of reach of Thor’s chain. They were wonderfully helpful and shouted such encouragements as:
I was reasonably certain I wasn’t playing dead.
Finally Preacher, the eldest Kohl kid, stretched out on his stomach and, risking his hand to Thor’s wrath, grabbed my ankle. Slowly, inch-by-inch he pulled me to safety. As soon as I was freed from Thor’s realm, my companions thought I should just pick myself up and walk home.
I remained on the ground convulsing like a fish out of water.
“Maybe we should take her home,” someone suggested. There were murmurs of agreement.
“How?” Someone else queried.
There were other comments, too. “That’s a lot of blood,” and “I’m not going to touch her,” are two I remember. I mean, being too bloody to touch had serious “cool” potential — providing I lived.
My struggle to draw air into my lungs distressed my friends to such an extent that they each grabbed one of my limbs and half-drug, half-carried me across the street and into my own yard. One of them ran to the door to get Gram so she could view my remains.
Gram declared that I would live and set to proving it with a tub of hot water, a scrub brush and much vigor. When she was finished saving me I almost resembled a human girl-child, except most of my visible skin was Mercurochrome neon-orange.
Gram rarely punished me for my stupidity. Usually she just left me to suffer the consequences of my actions — alone — in my room — for days (which sometimes lasted as long as a half-an-hour).
As to the flight, I’m not certain how fancy it was, but it was certainly educational, so I figure it counts for the prompts. And if not, prompt #3 is Writer’s Choice.
UPDATE: It appears that The Tree has posted the story from its point-of-view: The Kids.