Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Three little monkeys, swinging in a tree...

Time:      09:45
Place:     Somewhere in downtown Lower Hutt
Agents:  Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy (aka Spiderman and Superman at present time) and joined by a new, devious secret agent, Wonder-girl.
Mission:  To conquer the Tree (okay, large bush - there are far too many pointy and whippy branches for it to be called a tree).

Fireman Sam and Fireman Paddy surveyed the territory in satisfaction.  A large, prickly bush, full of unexpected spikes and protruding branches provided the ultimate challenge.  Any sane or unadventurous kid would not consider climbing up there.  Ah, Perfect!  But who else could be roped into the scheme?  They considered the options carefully, but eventually decided on Wonder-girl - after all, she had been following them around for most of the morning already, agreeing with every suggestion and, chances are, would be less likely to question the sensibility of climbing high up into what appeared to be an impenetrable maze.

The three intrepid explorers embarked on their quest.  At first, all went well.  Their small bodies were able to worm easily through the upwards-growing branches (remember this point for later), and within a relatively short time they had attained a vantage point, luckily short of the power-lines, but still about three meters up in the air.  It was the coming down that was not so easy.  In a strange twist of irony, Fireman Paddy, who had shinnied up that tree like a cat up a pole, managed to get one of those same upward-growing branches firmly wedged under the shoulder seam of his sweat-shirt and was unable to move.  While the others wanted to climb higher, he was effectively stuck.  He did what any good secret agent would do under the circumstances:  he began to howl for his mommy.

His yowls attracted the attention of most of the adults in the place.  Whilst the majority stood around at the bottom of the tree, directing operations and offering advice (I was trying to keep the screecher from panicking and falling out of the tree, mostly through my power of will), it was up to the dauntless session leader to save the day.  Without fearing for limb or safety, she launched herself into the tree.  Where bodies smaller (and younger) had wormed their way through, she subdued branches that got in her way, making her way slowly but surely up to where the miscreant hung by his shirt in the tree like a fish on a hook.  She managed to somehow lever him free and grab him before he fell the three meters to the ground.  Crisis averted she maneuvered all three kids down through the branches and once again onto firm soil.

Once his feet were on terra firma, it was all smiles for the rescued fireman, and very little show of remorse.  In fact, he learned so little from this episode that the second our backs were turned, he was up the tree again.  Not only once, but twice more in the space of about two hours.  Luckily, it did not require intervention from the intrepid session leader to get him out again!

As the saying goes - children are a great comfort in your old age, but they certainly help you to reach it faster!  Thanks again to all for getting him out of the tree - especially our fearless leader - sunhats off to you, Liz!

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