Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Childhood memories

This is inspired by spacefall's lovely pictures of local trees and childhood reminiscences here.

When I was at primary school, we had a huge tree in our backyard which we built a platform in (no hut, just a floor) and called the Enterprise. We beamed down from it by jumping, and once got our dog Peter up onto it as a guest hairy alien, not that I knew the term back then. This was relatively easy as the tree was deformed and spreading, and had a huge wide branch almost parallel to the ground on which we'd built our platform. Peter, a cocker spaniel, went up readily enough but wouldn't come back down once he saw how high he was. My sister and I had to carry him down.

At the base of the tree were some bright pink fungi, and when one of the neighbourhood kids asked what they were, I couldn't resist and said that they were the remains of dead possums which had all rotted away but for their little hearts. Amazing what people will believe; kids came round to look. Our cat Sam had a large ringed tail and I used to tell people he was part possum too, which they swallowed.

Once my sister and I convinced a little girl called Jean (six to our nine and ten) that the little wooden house nailed to our front door was a fairy home. This thing was a piece of kitsch: a small flat house with a peaked red roof and a door visitors opened to write on the notepad inside with a small tethered pencil to say they had called while we were out. Jean believed us, so I said she could ask the fairy who lived there for anything she liked. She asked to be invisible. We spend the rest of the afternoon pretending we couldn't see her, letting her creep up on us and flailing our arms around like someone playing 'Blind Man's Buff' in an attempt to find out where she was. She couldn't stop laughing with delight as we 'tried' to find her by the noises she made, and jumped with feigned shock when she touched us.

I wish I'd been Jean. It must have been a magical afternoon.

Tags: childhood
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