If a garden is not sculptured and ordered in serried rows then there is a great deal of danger to be found it. Even in the first garden of kittens and daisy chains I lived a precarious life of injury and near death!:)
My first danger, well perceived by moi anyway, was chickens. They terrorised me, clucking out en masse to peck at me, as I endeavoured to collect breakfast. Even if I escaped the beaks I would likely trip and graze my knees in my haste and fear. I still eye the bird with caution.
Trees are a constant draw to an adventurous child. I liked climbing trees, however, I was like the cats, I admired so much, I could climb up, but not down. I would find myself, time after time, perched dangerously high above the ground waiting my father’s help and telling off.
Sitting on the lawn, or playing with the hose on grass produced armies of red ants which would swarm over tender flesh and leave one scratching for hours.
The small pond full of tempting wildlife was just the correct size to fit me, when I toppled in and almost drowned, mind I didn’t actually need a garden pond to do this, I managed to do it quite successfully in a rock pool at the seaside. Both times saw me at the Casualty Department.
That first house had a couple of concrete bunkers for the coal. With metal lids on the top to tip the coal in and one at the bottom to allow one to shovel it out. I discovered with great delight those top metal lids were gloriously bouncy and made a very satisfactory noise whilst bouncing. I only had one session, the lid collapsed I hurtled down into the coal. Miraculously not breaking anything, but twisting, spraining, cutting and bruising myself considerable as I landed on those hard slithering lumps. Enough to warrant a trip to Casualty.
When my friend and I played our adventure games we would slake our thirst with the river water, running alongside the garden – I say river but most of the time it was just a stream. A fun stream with water rats and the odd discolouration from upstream. My friend decided that if we piled stones into a pile and only drank the water that bubbled at the top of the pile, we would be drinking filtered water and be safe.
Well we never caught any lurgy from the drinking so I reckon she was right:)
Branches break, uneven ground trips, plants defend themselves and lurking in untamed overgrown weeds lie remnants left by previous owners. Our dog discovered this before I could, lucky for me not him. A scream of pain that sliced the air and a frantic search for him in the undergrowth discovered he had torn his hip open on some rusting wrought ironwork. He missed loosing his leg by a hair's breadth. I developed a healthy respect for tangled undergrowth from then on, even when I hacked my way through as intrepid explorer I walked cautiously.
It was in that garden my parents discovered a rope of old cow bells, in different sizes. They decided that strung outside the back door they would be ideal for calling us in for meals, snacks, phone calls etc. One Sunday my friend from forever and I were digging over a patch of weedy earth, ready for vegetable planting and a few more coppers in our pockets, when the bells rang.
I stepped forward to leave the patch I was weeding and return to the path when my friend plunged the garden fork, she had been using to turn the soil, into the earth or rather my foot. Such bad timing on my part.
We stood in shocked silence for a moment staring at the blood welling up through my shoe, it didn’t hurt then, but we decided it probably needed adult assistance and we set of down the path. The pain hit half way back to the house. At the time I thought it was the worst pain ever, I have of course discovered there is far,far worse pain too be endured.
It was yet another trip to the Casualty department, another long wait. Injections, antiseptics, bandages and strictures to keep off my foot for a week. Miraculously the prongs of the fork had missed every bone.
I liked the ‘keep off the foot’ and enjoyed a week of being waited on by everyone – could get used to the life I thought.
My friend from forever/ editor and I are still best-est friends after too many decades to comfortably count.