The Flying Trapeze

The first home that I remember was an old two-story house with a tin roof. It had a huge loft or upstairs. I think it had one partition and then one big long room. It was unfinished, you could see the rafters and the tin. We had floor and partial walls but it was more of an attic than a true upstairs. We had an old coal heater both down stairs and upstairs and mother would hang her washing across the upstairs attic in the winter time. Daddy had tacked her some wire across the rafter braces and she had a tree strand clothes line. The wire was huge: it was cable but it was big wire. My brothers Danny and Hal had bunk beds and they both wanted the top bunk so mother made them rotate. It was Danny’s night to be on top but Hal insisted that it was his night. I think mother had to settle the argument and Danny crawled up top and Hal laid down underneath. They fought over the top because they could reach the clothes line and from time to time they would swing off of the bed on to the line like Tarzan. Danny got up to take a swing and Hal still unhappy said, “I hope you fall and break your neck.” John Daniel took a couple of swings and then safely landed on the top bunk as always. Hal lay there for a minute and then he said, “Let me show you something” and up the ladder he went and dived for the close line but this time the wire broke in mid swing and Hal did a somersault landing on his head and neck. We thought he was seriously injured. Mother came up of course and after she determined that he was OK, she inquired as to what exactly happened. She let us know what the moral of the story was: “When you wish something bad on another, it is likely to happen to you.”

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