My mother got on to me one time (many), “Don’t climb on the roof, you may fall and hurt yourself.” I would climb up a tree. My mother would tell me,”Don’t climb that tree you may fall and hurt yourself.”
One day we moved to a a house in the city near the airport. The houses were very close to one another and the trees were farther apart. But there was one tree in the yard next door that all us boys want to climb, it was a big oak tree. As I remember it, there was a dare to any one who would climb that “big one”. So me being the youngest of ten boys decided this may be a good rite of passage from being the “baby.”
As I stood looking at that big tree I thought how am I going to climb it when I can not reach the first limb. So, I rode an old tire up next to the tree and standing on it reached up and got a hold of the bottom branch. Digging my toes into the bark and pulling with all my might, I got a good grip. Then I just swung my legs around and set up, I made it. Now it was Just how high could I go. Up the tree I went, higher, higher I went , I was so proud I shouted for everyone to come see, no one came. I looked around and no one was to be seen, where did everybody go I thought. Well, I guess I’ll just climb back down and maybe they will believe I did climb that big tree.
The problem, I forgot about that long stretch between many of the branches on the way up. so, when I tried to reach the branch below me my leg seemed to short. I was stuck. I started to cry, “What if no one comes out side and sees me, I guess I’ll just died up here in this tree.” Just then I heard my Mother call,”David! come and eat!” ‘Up here!!!” I cried. She didn’t hear me,she called the again, “DAVID LAWRENCE!! come and eat!” “I’m up in this tree!” I cried harder, I knew I was in trouble went she used my full name. “DAVID LAWERENCE SMITH, come and eat!” By this time all my sisters and brothers are out in the back yard pointing up to that big tree saying, “There he is up in that tree you told him not to climb.”
“Come down from there.” she said. “I’m stuck.” crying more now thinking of the spanking I may get, plus now where are my bragging rights. My Dad came out and tried to coach me down, I was not moving, I was to afraid to put my foot down on a branch that I could not feel, even with everyone telling me to. Finally, my brother Butch climbed up three and took my foot in his hand and placed it on the branch. “Don’t cry, I got stuck before.” he said as we made our way down that big oak tree.
That was not the first or last time I had to be rescued from danger. Thank God for a helping hand.
The Bible tells us that if we do certain things we will fall and hurt our self. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
James 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. 17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin
The bragging rights to climbing that big oak never came to me but the reminder of not obeying my Mother has always been with me. She was right, “If you do that, you will get hurt.”