Growing Up Ralph - The Hammer
I was about ten years old. The sun was just setting on what had been a perfect summer day. Everyone was outside, running around, playing all sorts of games, and having a good time.
My sister was in the front yard playing with a ball about the size of a volleyball. On one of my many trips into the front yard, I noticed she was throwing rocks into the tree. Okay, that’s weird even for me. I stopped and asked what she was doing. It seems her ball was stuck in the branches of the tree and she was trying to knock it out with rocks. She had hit it a few times but not hard enough to dislodge it.
The answer was simple – she wasn’t using the right tool for the job. I ran and got a hammer knowing that would do the trick. I threw the hammer into the tree and although the branches moved quite a bit the ball remained. I threw the hammer again this time hitting the ball, moving it just far enough to get entangled in another set of branches. The third time I threw the hammer with all my strength. It hit a low hanging branch and immediately started its journey back to earth. It would have made it too except the top of my sisters head got in the way. The hammer hit her square on the top of the head. She went limp and crumpled to the ground.
I knew I had killed her and instincts took over. First, I hid the “murder” weapon by throwing it in a bush. Secondly, I ran into the house to beg for mercy.
Busting through the front door, most likely with tears rolling down my face, I yelled at the top of my lungs, “I didn’t mean to kill her! It was an accident!”
Fearing my mom didn’t hear me I started to yell it again. Before I could get all the words out my Mom was in the front yard standing over my sister’s lifeless body. Mom quickly turned and ran back into the house. That just confirmed - my sister was dead.
Returning with a washcloth my Mom began rubbing my sister’s face, no doubt getting her ready for the funeral. Then my sister started to move. Somehow, someway my mother had brought her back to life. I didn’t kill her! I wouldn’t go to jail. I wouldn’t rot in hell!
For years following that little incident, whenever I wanted to terrorize my sister all I had to do was grab a hammer and chase her around the yard . . . . . not that I would do anything like that.