The Tree

Now it’s dying, but once it was:

Jungle Gym: Leap up high, grab the bar, swing your legs up and over, sit tall. The crowd leaps to its feet and roars its approval. A perfect 10!

Pirate ship: Arrrr, me maties, thar be the Spanish galleon heavy with booty, and she’s ours for the taking. Ready the cannons!

Sherwood Forest: Shh, Merry Men, nock your arrows, someone’s coming, perhaps a duke with a fat purse . . .

“Margaret, time to come in, dinner’s ready.”

“Okay, Mom.”

Unnock your arrows, Merry Men, Maid Marion’s inviting us to a feast.

#99WordStories #ChildhoodMemories #Prompt_Playground #Imagination #MargaretGHanna

The back story:

A farm provides a host of places in which to play, not all of which are parent-approved. The old threshing machine, for example. We were told it was dangerous, which only made it even more enticing. Its interior became our “cave.”  Then there was the hay stack in the barn loft. We ignored our parents’ warning that air pockets might lurk in its interior, ready to swallow us up and suffocate us. We ignored those, too, and lived to tell the tale, although not to our parents.

However, our favourite place were three poplar trees. The swing hung between two of them, and the third was our climbing tree. Our imagination transformed that climbing tree into a myriad of other places.

The “swing trees” were parent-approved. I’m not so sure about the climbing tree, not that it would have made any difference.

My brother and I visited the old farm a few years ago. All those poplars, including our playground trees, that our grandfather planted 100 years ago are dead or dying.

The memories are still very much alive.


16 thoughts on “The Tree

  1. I love your imaginative play in the trees. When I was little, my dad planted a poplar tree in our back yard. He kept pruning it so eventually my brother and I could climb it. I was not as adventurous as you. I’d climb up and sit there and read, or dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, we had another whole life in the hedgerow around the property. The homestead was the same age as me, so there were no big trees when I was a youngster. Risk play is a thing now as they realize children need to know how to manage risks and make choices. We went rafting 1/2 mile from our house, and mom would honk the horn for lunch!

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  3. Exactly parallel to my own childhood. Forests, beach and dunes, mountains, rivers …… surrounded by them. No molly coddling from parents either yet all I ever remember happening to any of us is scraped knees and singed eyebrows. Oh, and we often fell in the river, but we could all swim. We could all fish too, sea fishing, as a couple of times a week the instruction from our mothers was “go and catch your tea”, which we did too returning a couple of hours later with mackerel, plaice or skate/ray depending on the season. A very different childhood from today.

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