Fish in a Barrel

awardfree1Adam and I used to get into trouble sometimes jus’ for fun. But nothing prepared us for the day we rolled our younger sister Deirdre down Mrs. Damm’s hill.

Deirdre was nine years younger than me and six years younger than Adam. Yet she was as every bit as rough and tumble as either of us.

This certain day, the three of us had discovered a metal oil drum in the lower pasture. We decided it would be great fun to ride around in it.

But after a couple of rolls in it each, we decided to run home and get all the pillows we could find.

We collected seven pillows. Three came from each of our beds; two from Mom and Dad’s bedroom; and two were the new ones Mom had bought for the living room.

We stuffed all seven pillows into the barrel. Riding around in the barrel became more fun and much softer with the addition of the pillows.

That’s when we figured out that it was too much work pushing that barrel around. So we decided to go to the highest hill we could get to and that was Mrs. Damm’s hill.

Deirdre was the first to go down the hill. Adam and I laughed so hard that we fell on the ground when she crawled out of the pillow packed barrel, walking like she was drunk, finally falling on her back, sprawled out under the hot afternoon sun.

Next was Adam’s turn to take a ride in the barrel, so the we pushed it back up the hill. Adam climbed in and made certain that the pillows were packed in around him.

Then Deirdre and I pushed the barrel over the edge of the hill. Adam screamed all the way down.

Near the bottom of the hill, the barrel hit a small rock. The barrel bounced into the air and when it landed, it spit Adam out like he was a shot from cannon.

He rolled about twenty feet before he came to a stop. Adam got up , smiling as he tried to walk.

He tried to walk over to the barrel but fell down instead, crawling the rest of the way. My sister and I laughed all the way down the hill.

I could hardly wait to take my turn.

After getting the barrel back up the hill again, I carefully loaded himself in and away I went. I let out a scream as the barrel picked up speed.

When the barrel stopped rolling, I got out and started to walk. I also walked like a drunk man.

The only problem, we agreed was the rough bumps at the bottom of the hill. So it was decided that we’d roll the barrel off the other side of the hill.

Once they got back up the hill, Deirdre got in the barrel and situated the pillows around her. We rolled her as hard as we could over the side of the hill, then ran after her.

But the barrel never made it to the bottom of the hill as it became wedged between two large rocks.

At first it seemed funny, but as time wore on the funniness of the situation waned. Neither Adam or I could get Deirdre unstuck.

Finally, I sent Adam to fetch Mom. Once Mom saw the situation she knew that she was going to be unable to get the barrel unstuck.

She needed Pa and John Popper, his tractor. Mom sent me to get him.

By the time I returned with Pa, panic had set in for Deirdre. She was crying and she said was thirsty and could barely breathe.

Pa hooked up the chain to John Popper and then to the barrel. The chain was used in calving but it also proved to be useful for pulling small children out of bad situations.

Needless to say Deirdre got out fine. There was also some hide tanning in the wood shed later that afternoon.

The three of us didn’t get whippings for getting stuck because Mom and Dad knew that accidents happen. We got the strap because we took all the pillows in the house without asking.

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Published by

Tom Darby

Former radio personality and newspaper reporter

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