School holidays – times when kids do stuff they won’t dream of doing any other time. Maybe the freedom of “no school” has something to do with it. 🙂 We had a free-standing garage, about 7 feet in height, with a corrugated iron roof and a brick raised edge along the sides. We had a garden ladder, but it was not to be used by children to get on top of that garage.
I had a brother who climbed up that ladder and took with him a whole bag of oranges, some acorns and his illegal, forbidden by our father, catapult. (Catapult – a forked stick with an elastic band fastened to the two prongs, used by naughty children for shooting small stones). The same brother sat up on that roof and lured me with stories of the view and I can’t remember what else …
On the ground next to the ladder was a cement slab in front of a door to a small store-room at the back of the garage. Next to that was a patch of sand, a brick fireplace (bbq) and a concrete pillar.
So I climbed up the ladder, and sat there on the edge eating oranges, “maybe” trying out the catapult, and just enjoying the naughtiness of it all… after all, nobody was going to find out, right?
To this day, I cannot remember what made me get up, walk to the middle of the roof and running to the edge. I couldn’t stop myself in time. I went over that edge and fell. I landed in that patch of sand. Miraculously I got up and I remember feeling dazed and my brother almost flying off the ladder. I walked to the kitchen clutching my hands and I must’ve looked weird because my mother started scolding me. My brother then interrupted and shouted “Ma, Ma, Brenda fell off the garage roof”. My mother gave me some sugar water to drink for the shock and told me to go to bed. It was almost time for my father to come home from work, and that added to my stress…
When he came home, my mother told him what happened and he called me. “Brendaaaa, come here and tell me what happened”. I was shaking by then and before I could say a word, I barfed all over the floor. All those oranges all over the floor. (I didn’t have to clean it up). 😉 I couldn’t speak. I was shaking really bad. My father called the doctor and made me go back to bed. The doctor came (in those days they still made housecalls) and told my parents I am suffering from severe concussion. I had to stay in bed for a week. I had terrible hallucinations and still remember some of the weird images and shapes and spirals that scared me something awful. How strange that I remember that!
As children we have a lot of “I told you so’s” and my father didn’t say it in so many words but he did say “if only you listened when I said DON”T CLIMB UP ON THAT ROOF”. He decided that my suffering was enough punishment …
I never told about the catapult…
(Laura had to mend and do chores and stay where Ma could see her as punishment for going to the tableland all by herself. At least I didn’t have to do chores….) 🙂
4 thoughts on “So I fell off the roof… and lived to tell the tale!”
Lekker stoutgat gewees nê?
Was banger vir die pak slae 😉
Brenda you brought back so many memories! My cousin Dianne and I would climb up onto the roof of our family’s 3-car garage for the sheer thrill of it … knowing full-well that my grandfather did NOT want us up there because it damaged the asphalt shingles. And the garage was directly outside his door and in view of his easy chair! We sat up there enjoying the height, the view and the boldness of it!
You summed it up… the boldness and the sheer thrill 😀