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The Whole Story

“Gran, remember when I jumped across the creek?  You were scared!” my eight-year-old Grand said as we stood on the bank of the creek in my back yard.

“Yes, I remember.  But I wasn’t exactly scared,” I said.

“You thought I’d fall!”  David said.  His next question cut me to the quick.  “Did you ever write about it?  That’s when I was 5.”

One cool, early spring morning David and I had played and worked outside.  Kicked a ball.  Blew bubbles.  Picked up sticks.  Threw rocks and leaves into the creek.  The creek was about three feet wide and the foot-deep water flowed swiftly over rocks, carrying leaves out of sight.  We stood on the 4’ bank and wondered why one side of the bank was high and the other just a few inches above water level.

Suddenly, my Grand bent his legs and sprang across the creek.  Jumped high to low and landed on stable ground.  His grinned and looked at me as if to gauge my reaction.  “I didn’t expect you to jump!”  I said.  “Can you jump back?”  He leaned forward and stretched his arms toward me.  The bank where I stood morphed into a mountain.  The creek became a river.

David pushed the legs of his jeans up to his knees, took off his shoes and socks, and stepped into the water.  “That’s cold!”  He jerked his foot out.  “What if my clothes get wet?”  Fine with me, but I didn’t have dry clothes for him.  My Grand put on his socks and shoes and walked along the creek edge, presumably searching for a narrow place where he could jump.  He swirled the water with a stick.  And then he saw a log across the water.  A 12” wide uprooted tree that connected banks about eight feet apart and four feet over the rocky-bottomed creek.  “I’ll walk across!”  he announced.

I expected to deal with wet clothes, but I didn’t want to call my Grand’s mother to report a broken arm.  “How about you sit on the log – like riding a horse – and scoot?”  I said in my sternest grandmother voice.  David wiggled across the fallen tree and leaned sideways faking a fall, just to make me catch my breath.  He laughed.  I hugged him and he immediately turned away from me and crawled back across the log.  “I’m going to walk next time.  Take my picture!”  I smiled, hoping to hide my concern.  I snapped his picture as he stood in the middle of the log. It would be proof that the log really was wide enough to walk when I showed it to his mother in the emergency room.

“Come on, Gran!  Walk with me!”  David said.  He pranced across the log a few more times while I stay planted to the ground, and when I said that it was time to get off the log, he didn’t argue.  Later that morning as we he’d kicked a soccer ball around the yard, he’d asked, “Are you going to tell Momma what I did?”

So now, David, your momma knows the whole story.  Not just that you scooted across a log over the creek.



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