Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Knocked senseless

When I was a lad in short-pants, I often spent bucolic summer week-ends visiting my grandparents' farm. One glorious Sunday afternoon, I endeavored to lift a home-made kite into the soft breezes of a cloudless sky (there was no wireless then, or else I would certainly have been listening to my ball-playing heroes, a sasparilla clutched in my small hand).

I ran through the lower meadow with my kite steaming behind me, like a banner signifying pure joy! So focused was my attention on its upward trajectory, that I did not notice the iron manure rake that "Rummy" Pete, Grandpa's unreliable farm-hand, had left on the ground -- its tines facing up.

My course carried me precisely to where the rake lay in wait. As my tiny foot landed on the tines, the wooden shaft shot upward in a flash, like Archimedes' lever, colliding with a horrendous "smack" into my cheekbone!

The final chapter of last evening's contest felt exactly like that stunning blow to the face. And this is the last I shall ever speak of that harrowing day, or last night's contest.

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