~ Prickers ~

Critter and I were out in the back yard, swinging in the hammock.  I was laying there, marveling at the sweetness of this mother / son time with the sun on our faces and the breeze in our hair.  I enjoyed every moment as we swayed slowly to and fro. I was thoroughly absorbed in my Critter.

Not him, however.  He was fixated on a ‘thing’ that he could see over the wire fence, mostly buried in the leaves.  What was it?  He kept craning his neck to see.

I’m feeling sentimental and maternal;  he’s being….well….a boy.

“MOM! Quit stroking my head!  I’m not a cat!”

Eventually I gave up, let him jump off the hammock (ok, I admit, I had him locked in a half Nelson to keep him with me) and he ran over to the fence to try and figure out what was in the neighbor’s woods.  He couldn’t reach that far through the fence, and there were prickers galore on that side.  We’re talking thistle, raspberry, nettles, etc.   NOT the most hospitable woods.    So I say what any other reasonable parent would say,

“Don’t even think it.”

“Aw Mom!  I’ve totally got it!  I’ll run down to the wooden section of the fence, where I can climb it, then I’ll use this (gestures to cat litter bucket he’d been previously playing in the gravel with) as a shield from the prickers.  Then I can get to it and see what the heck it is!”

I knew there was no stopping him when he has a ‘McGuyver’ tone in his voice, so I let him go.  I figure Pain is an excellent teacher, and that he’ll get scratched a few times and turn around.

But see, I keep forgetting that my boy has passion and drive like I never did.

A few minutes later I hear,

“Mom? A little help here?”

And there he is, well surrounded by briars and barbs in the thicket, cut up as all get out, and looking rather scared.


“Alright.  Don’t move.  I’ll be right there.”

(If this were a movie, this would be where the heroic music starts)

I went to the house, grabbed one of My Captain’s Carhardt canvas work jackets and a step-ladder and went to the section of fence he was nearest.

(It’s important to note at this juncture in the story that I have shorts on, and he has shorts on. Thank you.)

I tossed him the jacket to protect him from further pricker impalement.

(Oh, it’s also important to note that I have a t-shirt on.  Thank you again.)

I put the ladder near the wire fence.  Climbed the fence. Made my way to him (ow, ow, ow, Jeeeeeeeshus Golly OW) in the briars, picked him up, took him back to the fence (ow, ow, ow, Jeeeeshus Golly OW), plopped him back over to our yard, and then ….

….stood there wondering how I would get back over.  He couldn’t lift the ladder to me.  I couldn’t climb the wire, and couldn’t make my way through the briars to the wooden part of the fence.

At this point, I was waiting for My Captain, the Rescue Tech, to look out the window, see me, and come to my rescue.  Then I thought about it and fervently hoped he wouldn’t look out the window and see my predicament.

“Mom?  Should I go get Troy?”

NO!….er..I mean, uh, no, honey.  That isn’t necessary.  Mommy’s got this.”

I told Critter to lean the ladder against the fence where I was able to use it from the other side to boost at least one of my legs over…where I dangled for a painful minute.

Did I mention there were briars?

Eventually the wire bent under the massive weight it was bearing (ahem) and I was able to get my other leg over, scratching it thoroughly in the process, and landed with a thump in our yard.

“You know what that thing was, Mom?  Just a stupid old birdie from the badminton set we threw out last year.  It’s just trash.”


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