When I was a child, I used to attend a daycare every weekday because my mother used to work during the day with my brother. While I avoided being a troublemaker, he seemed to enjoy it because of the attention that it would bring from the other kids. It was just who he was and I expected as much.
However, one day he took a dare made by a few of the others to climb the old tree that was by the tool shed near the back of the fence surrounding the daycare. They double-dog dared him, which meant he couldn’t back out without being called a coward. As kids that was the worst thing in the world and he wanted to prove that he was no coward. But the tree and shack were basically surrounded by a muddy moat and if he fell down, he’d be covered in it. That would meant a lecture and even worse, a washing from the woman who ran the daycare.
Still, despite all of that, he took the challenge. Getting a running start, he leapt for the tire swing that was setup on the limb of the tree and caught the rope. The momentum transferred and he used that to get across the moat. From there he managed to climb up the tree and proved he was no coward, smiling proudly.
That was until I asked how he was going to get back down. The smile faded from his face as he realized that the rope that he used to cross the moat was further out than he could cross and there was no way for him to get back across without getting muddy. I asked if he wanted me to get an adult, but he said that he had a handle on it and then climbed down onto the roof of the shack.
From there he hopped onto the fence and climbed down the hoops in the wire. Confident in his success, he walked along the side where it was dry with a skip in his step because he’d proven himself. Then, at the very end, he slipped on a leaf that had been wet and ended up in the mud.
It may have been a bit cruel, but I couldn’t help but laugh. It was just that after all that effort, he fell in because he was gloating. More so since the mud moat was only a few inches deep and he could have just pulled up his pants and walked across it.
Live and learn. Live and learn.
Author: Julie Clark
© 2011 Steven Burton All Rights Reserved
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