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I did not rush head-long into trouble … this time. I backed into it. If only I’d remembered my lesson learned from a failed heifer riding experiment. If only I’d let David go first.
We often brought Barbara Kay camping with us. Her parents owned the vacant lot on Lake St. Catherine, we were the same age, and we liked to play together.She slept in her sleeping bag between David and me and made us get as close to her as possible. This became the best time to tell her scary stories taking place around the lake. I also liked telling her the source of each mysterious outside noise. Mom made me stop after a few minutes.
Camps, houses, and other tents lay scattered around the lake. After lunch, David went on a hike and explored the nearby area. Barbie and I chose to lie on our towels, sunbathing on the dock.
David hurried toward us from behind our tent. “You’ve got to come see what I found.”
Barbie and I stopped to put sneakers on and followed him up a hill. I soon wished I put shorts on over my bathing suit.
David stood by as we were properly impressed over his discovery–a long wooden trough leading straight down to a woodpile near the camp below.
I stepped onto the top of the wooden structure. “Let’s slide down.”
“I get to go first since I found it,” shouted David.
“But I’m the oldest, so I should go first.”
David gave in and I thought I won. I thought wrongly.
I sat on the top of the trough, but didn’t budge. I climbed off and walked back a few yards. I got a running start, jumped on, and slid a few feet.
“Ow, ow, ow,” I screamed.
“Ha ha! You got just what you deserve,” shouted David.
He ran ahead to our tent with his inappropriate laughter trailing behind. I walked slowly with Barbie at my side.
The grain of the wood in the old trough pointed upward, while I slid downward. It was not a happy meeting. Looking back, I think David may have planned my unfortunate incident. He knew I’d want to slide down first.
In the privacy of our tent I leaned over Mom’s lap with my injured butt exposed. She muttered while tweezing a million tiny splinters embedded in my hind-end. It took days to pluck the last one out.
Now I knew what the thugs in gangster movies meant when they said, “You’ve got to cover your own butt.”
Lesson learned: Sometimes it’s better to go second; a lesson I learned previously and remembered too late. No butts about it!
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