Sunday, May 15, 2011
Then, my foot slips and I stumble. The ground races up to meet me and I land, then tumble. It hurts and tears spring to my eyes.
I hear shrieks of laughter behind me and I quickly scramble to my feet. My sisters shout with glee at my demise as they come running up behind me. I am quick to brush off my downfall. With a wicked grin I am off again. The girls close on my heels.
And then, we are there. Our secret place. Our hideout. It is dense with trees and shrubbery. A magic place. A place of mystery.
The sounds of the creek bubbling merrily nearby and the birds singing are soon drowned out by our high, piping voices and our shouts of laughter.
In this secret world of ours I rule. I am the eldest and therefore make all the decisions. Today we are making a cubby and I quickly delegate jobs to my younger siblings. The middle sister; quiet and easy-going. The youngest one; full of cheek. We are happy in our work. We invent a make believe world full of promise and beauty. We chatter endlessly.
And then, we hear it, a sound we all dread. Our nemesis approaches, we hear his footfalls and the laughter dies on our lips. He stands in a clearing, close to our sanctuary. My sisters gasp, my heart hammers loudly in my ears. Our little world is suddenly silent, eerie.
The rangy, old Ram grunts and stamps his feet. Then he starts to run.....at us. We scream with fear and run, he is close behind. Both my sisters faces speak of pure terror. The youngest one struggles to keep up on her short, little legs. He is gaining on us and I know that to run is futile. He is much faster than three little girls.
Then, I stop. Stupidly. Stubbornly. The Ram lowers his head and runs straight at me. I brace myself for impact. As he reaches me I suddenly raise my fist and I punch him right between his eyes. He stops, blinks stupidly at me, turns and runs away.
I sink slowly to the ground gasping with fear and disbelief.
My sisters are there and they can't believe what I have just accomplished. Their voices are full of awe as they pull me to my feet. My heart swells with bravado at their praise. I am six feet tall and filled with pride. As we walk home again I walk with a slight swagger.
It's a tale I will go on to tell for years and years to come. Although my sisters no longer hold me in awe, I'll always remember the moment in which they did.