Ms. Beth wrote...No child was actually harmed during the events I am about to recall.
Has any child ever really poked an eye out with a stick? Having been a child, and having played with sticks of all descriptions, and having, most importantly, never poked an eye out (or even seen it done) I tend to smile tolerantly whenever I hear a grandmotherly type repeat the famous works: "Put that stick down or you'll..."
No, I mean it. They may actually be right! In fact, I'll take it a step further. I now think children's eyes may sometimes function as stick "homing-devices" . I know because Kaylie found a stick today in the yard that was three times her height and at least three times as fun as the sort she usually picks up. I let her hold it. I watched closely as she staggered about under its weight. That's when I noticed something: if that stick was going to poke Kaylie anywhere, it would be in her eye!
Imagine for a moment holding a long stick with two hands out in front of you. Imagine that it is paralled to the ground and that the ends are pointing well away from your eyes to your right and left. Imagine yourself walking slowly forward. Now, without taking your hands off the stick, try to poke yourself in the eye. Can't do it, can you?
Well, as Kaylie staggered the stick seemed to have taken on a mind of its own: lundging unpredictabily, its pointier end was coming frighteningly close to its intented mark! Sorry to spoil the fun, yet aware as always of my responsibilities, I took the stick away and let Kaylie think I was the bad guy!
Happily, the wrath of Kaylie was short-lived. She seems to have the attitude that "life is too short to bear grudges", or at the very least that you "don't bite the hand that feeds you". And if you're beginning to wonder whether those grandmotherly types are always right after all, let me end with one last piece of evidence: "life isn't fair". Sorry, Kaylie! :-) :-(