Remember, Endurance and Dirt

Memories are amazing. The picture, taken by Christine of Moonlit Magic fame, (http://instagram.com/kyrin_moonlit_magic) brought back an incident from my past. I still remember it well. I guess it also shows the endurance of a child and the ability of the brain to store trauma. I wasn’t a country kid, but my four cousins were. Farming ,self-sufficiency, dirt, and fantasy was all part of their existence. As an only child I was jealous. So here is a snippet from my past – now well over 50 years ago!

This photo, by Christine of Moonlit Magic, was taken at Broadmeadow Race track, New South Wales, Australia.

THE SCAR

          The tree was tall and full of branches. My cousin looked at me and grinned. She was up the trunk like a monkey.

          “Come on up,” she called, settling herself on a particularly large branch.

          I wasn’t the most accomplished tree climber — but I managed to follow, by crawling my way up. I sat down next to her feeling quite impressed with myself.

          Every day we visited the tree — it became our own version of ‘The Faraway Tree.’  There was magic in the isolation, and in the fact that I had been forbidden to climb – not just that tree, but ANY tree.

          About a fortnight later, we were once again clambering up the tree — I had become more and more courageous. I stepped on a small branch that we had used many times in order to catapult myself up to the next level.

          Snap!

          With agonizing slowness, I slid down the trunk, the jagged branch slicing into my leg as I passed it.

          I can remember sitting on the ground in the dirt with a dazed look on my face, staring at my leg and wondering why it wasn’t bleeding. Something white glinted in the depths of the open skin. My hands went around my leg in an automatic gesture to hold the parted flesh together. My cousin scrambled down and stood over me.

          “Oh, boy!” she moaned. “Are you ever going to get into trouble!”

           I said not a word.

          With hesitating gasps I got to my feet… and walked the two kilometres home. To say there was hell to pay is putting it mildly. There was no way I could obfuscate, even though I tried. Better to tell the truth plainly.

          My Aunt settled me down, then pulled the partial branch from my leg, and cobbled the wound together with a Band-Aid and bandage. My mother, on the other hand, was furious. I wouldn’t let her near me.

          Do you know how many times people touch you on your leg when it is hurting? Everybody — that’s who.

          Now you know why I have that scar. It might have happened over fifty years ago,

but the memories haven’t dimmed, just as the mark is always there to remind me. 

Another story about a tree.

As I write children’s books, you may be interested in one of my ‘read-to-me’ picture books. ‘Kathy Koala’s Kerfuffle’ is about an argumentative Koala, who creates a problem for her friends in the Australian bush. If you are interested, please feel free to go to my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AlphabetanimalsofAustralia and private message me.