When I was younger, I used to be the best tree climber. Seriously. If I could reach a branch, I was up that tree like that. *snaps* I would say my climbing days are over--at least for now--but I had a lot of fun hanging around in trees. I was fearless. I'd hit that branch and scurry up like a squirrel.
One day some seventh graders started chasing after me. I was in second grade at the time, so these were big kids compared. I didn't think I could make it to the house, so I did the next best thing: I climbed our tree.
My hands grasped hold of the lowest branch, and I used my running momentum to propel me up. Bark dug into my palms, scraped my knees. I had to get higher.
The boys at that time had gotten off their bikes--yeah, I used to be a fast sprinter too but sadly not anymore--and started climbing after me. Fingers brushed against my ankle.
I had to hurry. The branches were getting thinner. Soon I would either have to get too high up or do something rather rash. As a seven year old, I chose the rash idea. I seized a nearby branch and dangled myself from it. No other branches were below me, but it was still a good seven or eight foot drop to the ground. I'd jumped farther when we used to jump off people's roofs--yeah, it's amazing I'm still alive--so I dropped when they were seconds from grabbing me.
The ground came up quickly, but I barely felt my feet hitting the grass before I was off and running again toward the door. To safety. I yanked on the doorknob as the boys shouted after me and started climbing down the tree. The door opened, and I slipped inside and slammed the door behind me. With a quick look, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I had made it.
I don't remember seeing those seventh graders much after that. We soon moved out of the neighborhood, but I remember that tree and how I used to climb it.