One of my favorite places to be when I was a kid was in a tree. One of my neighborhood friends had a pretty good climbing tree. One summer day I climbed up on the biggest branch I could find and proceeded to hang like a monkey with my arms and legs wrapped around that branch.
What I didn’t know was that the branch I was hanging from was actually deader than a doornail. Not long after I got myself positioned in my monkey pose, I heard a cracking sound. The branch I was hanging from broke off and I began to fall. Then I blacked out and don’t remember exactly what happened, until I woke up with my friends gathered around looking at me. They told me that the branch had broken off and that I had landed on my back with the branch on top of me. It must have knocked the breath out of me for a short time. Once I came to, I was fine and went back to playing.
That would be the end of the story except for the following details:
Next thing I know my mother arrives all out of breath from running over to my friend’s house. When I fell my brother Mark was there. He saw me blacked out on the ground and thought I was dead. He ran home and told mom I was dead!
Now I need to fill in some more details to explain why my mother was almost hysterical that day when she arrived at my friend’s house to retrieve “my body”.
There was a neighborhood girl who lived just a couple of doors from me. She never came out to play with the rest of us kids for some reason. I guess her mom probably didn’t allow it. Now for some unknown reason, she had a grudge against me. I have no idea why because we had never so much as spoken to each other.
The day I fell out of the tree, that particular girl had decided to pay me back for whatever it was she was angry about. So, she called many phone numbers and sent many vehicles to my house, one of which was an ambulance. I wasn’t even home, so I had no idea that this was happening.
Evidently the ambulance must have arrived around the same time that Mark came running home all out of breath
screaming, “Help!! Darla’s dead!” My poor mother thought that the ambulance was there for me. And she believed Mark when he told her I had fallen out of a tree and that I was dead.
By the time Mom and Mark ran the half block to where I was, I had recovered and was just fine. I thought my mom was going to pass out right in front of my eyes. Once she recovered and realized that I was OK, she was fit to be tied! She proceeded to tell me how all of these different vehicles had been arriving at our house, a taxi cab, a typewriter salesman, and most importantly, an ambulance. I don’t remember how many other people had come to our house and I also can’t remember how we found out who had called all of them.
In any case, it was one of the strangest coincidences I have ever experienced and it does make for a good story, don’t you think? Well, anyway, that was the day a tree tried to kill me, but I survived in spite of it. And it didn’t stop me from climbing every tree I could find either. But I did start checking the branches before hanging upside down on them 🙂