Once Upon a Time My Brother and I Supposedly Nearly Killed Ourselves

Occasionally the girl I watch asks me to tell her a story about my life.  For some reason, she is particularly fond of stories about how I was naughty as a child.  Now, this task is mildly difficult because while I wasn’t perfect growing up, I wasn’t a wild child or super mischievous– those tasks fell more on my brother and sister and most of my transgressions are very boring to explain.  However, I do remember one time, years and years ago, when my brother and I pulled off quite a feat of childhood mischievousness and stupidity.   

The key to this story was our television antenna placed along side our house and it went all the way up to the roof.  For the most part, my brother and I didn’t pay much attention to to the antenna.  We had a nice playset to climb on and if that didn’t appease us, there was a small tree that we would clamber over.  Our backyard was fenced, allowing my mother to put us outside relatively unattended with the instruction of, “Stay inside the fence.”  For the most part, that direction was followed and we had hours of carefree play in the backyard.
On day when my brother was six and I was four, we were playing “Darkwing Duck,” an old Disney cartoon that we liked watching.  My sister was taking her afternoon nap, so my mom stayed inside with her.  I don’t remember all the details of what led my brother and me to the television antenna, but we must of grown bored with the playset and the tree.  Consequently, my brother’s solution was to climb ladder-style up the side of the antenna and hop onto the roof of the house.  Being a good younger sister, I followed him.
Once we arrived on the roof, we forgot about our game and curiously began to explore the unknown housetop.  Although we lived in a one level house, to my four-year-old perspective I was on a skyscraper.  I could see the town that sat just beyond the cornfield across the road.  I could see over the giant tree that stood in our front yard.  My brother insisted that he could see Grandpa and Grandma’s house (which wasn’t true since my grandparents lived several hours away, but that’s how far we felt we could see).  Eventually our exploration led me to look over the edge of the house and my stomach lurched as I realized how far away we were from the ground.  But this survival instinct was quickly forgotten when I began watch our shadows dance on the ground as we frolicked about on the roof.       
The rest of the story fades into the fog of childhood memories, but when my mom recalls this incident she tells about being on the phone and hearing an odd pitter-patter on the roof.  When she looked outside the window, she could see our dancing shadows and realizing that HER CHILDREN WERE PLAYING ON THE ROOF!!  Quickly hanging up the phone, she charged outside and got us to climb down from the housetop.  When demanding what exactly we were doing on the roof, my brother only said, “We were playing ‘Darkwing Duck.'”  He realized how much trouble we were in.  I, on the other hand, had a four-year-old’s sense of pride in our accomplishment and kept repeating, “I Goslin!  I Goslin!”  My mother, too furious to even explain how dangerous and stupid it was to play on the roof, banished us to our bedrooms for the afternoon.

My brother and I never climbed on the roof again.  I guess my mother’s caring wrath had some sort of impact on my logic.  However, when I see a house for the first time, I still find myself studying its structure to discover the best way to climb on the roof.


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