Saturday, 28 March 2009

The Great Escape


Memory Lane

Now I don't want to blacken My Dad's name, as he could be very kind and by the time my children had come along, he had mellowed into a lovely grandfather.
However, when I was a child, he could turn from being a very tolerant man to 'losing it altogether' and nothing in between. Yes.... he had a very short fuse.

One such occasion recently came to mind.
I was about eleven years old and my brother Godfrey was two and a half years younger.
I had adopted a small summer house at the bottom of the garden, where I played with my friend. One day, I had spent a long time stencilling pictures with paint onto paper and I was particularly pleased with the results and decided to decorate the little house with these masterpieces.

I probably wasn't the perfect sister and may well have provoked Godfrey in some way and as a result, he snatched the pictures down and ripped them up.
The Third World War broke loose. I screamed the place down and Dad, probably thinking I was being murdered, ran out to find what all the fuss was about.
Now one thing my Dad could not stand was wanton destruction and he turned on Godfrey to give him a 'thrashing' as he called it. This was very common when I was a child and parents could whack their children without getting arrested.
Godfrey knew what was coming and he was ready for it.

We lived in an end of terrace house and there was a wooden fence running the whole length of the garden. Godfrey had been blessed with long legs and he was a good sprinter. He jumped the fence no trouble at all and as he was built like a greyhound raced off over the wasteland that was on the other side of the fence.
Unfortunately my Dad was more of a bulldog in stature and although he managed to leap the fence, Godfrey was a dot on the horizon before he even started pursuing him.

After some time, my Dad came limping back, looking hot and sweaty and rather silly, I thought. He slunk into the house without saying anything and sat down to recover.
Godfrey knew from experience, that if he lay low for a couple of hours then the matter would be forgotten and that is exactly what happened....... only I didn't forget the incident.




32 comments:

Rose said...

This is so funny, Maggie May:) Good thing Godfrey was smart enough to lay low for awhile. Isn't it funny the incidents from our childhood that stick in our minds? I still remember my mother spanking my little brother for something I did--I said he did it. I felt so bad when he got the spanking, but then I was afraid to speak up for fear I would get it much worse. I always felt guilty about that; perhaps that's partly why my brother and I have always gotten along--I still owe him:)

Jeni said...

When I was growing up, my Mom rarely spanked me. If she did feel the need to do so, she made darned sure that my Grandfather was no where nearby as he had apparently given orders that I was not to be touched -no spankings allowed! However, the exception -and of course, there is always an exception, isn't there -was if I had done something really bad during the day, if it was serious enough for Mom to make a threat of whispering to me, "You wait till bathtime tonight" I knew I was gonna catch high holy. Our bathtub was located in the basement of the house, in the same room as the washing machine and laundry tubs and well outside of my Grandpa's hearing range. And trust me when I tell you, a smack with a bare hand on a wet and bare behind smarts a lot more than a little tap or a whack across the back with a switch, hitting you with a layer of clothing in between, you know!

Lindsay said...

I had same experience with younger brother as Rose! My dad is now 90 years old and has always always had a bad temper which can still make life very difficult!

Indrani said...

So funny. :)
Did you both talk about this incident later with your father?

Casdok said...

Great story! My father has mellowed into a wonderful grandfather to!

Moannie said...

And the older we get the further back we can go. Have to say that, for all the horrors of my childhood, neither mother or Step father ever physically punished me. Might have been preferable to a cold shoulder.

Akelamalu said...

Little brothers can be downright pests - I know from experience! However I'm glad Godfrey escaped the thrashing. :)

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

My father never hit us. He said he was too strong and was afraid of hurting us. My mother did have some very loose hands however and it hurt when she hit you.

lakeviewer said...

Ah, memories! That's how we mold our sense of justice, looking at all those incidents in our past.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Times have certainly changed haven't they! A good-hiding never did anyone any harm, perhaps there would be a lot less scum in the world today if the do-gooders out there kept their noses out!

CJ xx

Lavinia said...

My goodness! Very well written post, thank you for bringing this incident so clearly to life for us. Funny which memories come to the forefront, isn't it...

Eddie Bluelights said...

Good job Godfrey was a good runner. What would have happened if your dad had caught him? Perhaps the whole course of recent human history might have been changed.

Suburbia said...

Gosh Maggie, I hate the thought of violence towards children, even though I know it was seen as more acceptable years ago. I'm glad your brother escaped.

rosiescribble said...

Well done Godfrey for running I say! I've seen many a parent turn into wonderful grandparents, they do seem to improve with age in the parenting department!

The Things We Carried said...

I had to laugh at "the days parents could whack their children without being arrested!" I remember those days well. How did the world change so fast?

At least your dad was too tired at the end of it all to carry out his intentions! The humanity of our parents!

How lucky he mellowed into a lovely grandfather! I bet you would never have imagined that :).

cheshire wife said...

Brothers, especially younger ones almost get away with murder. Mine once cut off a lock of my hair.

lmerie said...

LOL - love the post! Little Brothers! I like the way you began the story - I was remembering something earlier and was not sure how to tell it without my dad sounding like on ogre - especially considering how age has mellowed him out so!

Smiles

Wendy said...

Your dad sounds a lot like mine. Except mine wouldn't even attempt to jump a fence.
Those days bring back precious memories, don't they?

Hilary said...

What a humerous visual you created with these words. I'll bet the two of you did plenty to try his patience. Just a hunch. ;)

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Fuming rage can be so funny too though - as you describe so well. Oh and what do you mean - there is no such thing as an imperfect sister! ;-)

A little award awaits you over a my place today. xx

Bina said...

That's funny. Sounds just like a brother, and they don't need a reason to make their sister's mad, that's for sure!

But I'm amazed your dad would cool down like that. My mother held a grudge and anger for days!!!!! I would have had to stay gone a lot longer than a few hours! LOL

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Geat immagery of your bro legging it and a puffed out da in pursuit! Great story so well told too.

MarmiteToasty said...

I remember those thrashings lol.... and the short tempers and me brother also running fast LMFAO.... we share much the same :) - except I didnt have no house in the garden, just an old sheet pegged to the fence lmao

x

Expat mum said...

I don't remember my dad ever hitting me, but he used to chase us through the house and stand at the bottom of the stairs pretending( I think) to fiddle with his belt while we legged it up and into our bedrooms. He probably laughed his head off once we had disappeared.

the mother of this lot said...

My dad used to tell me stories about when he laid low for a while! Neither he nor Godfrey would be able to do it these days - they'd be reported missing after ten minutes!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I imagine your pictures were very pretty. Things like that stay with you for years and years. It must have made a big impact. Thank you for sharing it.

San said...

Maggie May, I am enthralled by the notion of your stenciling your artwork and decorating the little house. That is so sweet. BAD Godfrey. But I'm glad he escaped his punishment.

Valleys Mam said...

being an only child My dad doted on me.I never heard him raise his voice in all the years he was with me. I loved him to bits.
My mam however was volatile , but thank heavens she came down as fast as she went up.

Dr.John said...

You wouldn't forget. Like my little sister you got the brother into trouble. She always had to scream.

Leslie: said...

Oh gosh, Maggie! My Dad was just the same - except that we didn't DARE try to escape the whacks that would come. And usually we hadn't done anything to warrant the whacks, either.

by the way, thanks for the support re my post. I really appreciate it.

Daisy said...

What a memory! Little brothers are very easy to wind up as far as I remember, although I still wouldn't want them to get a thrashing.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

You're so right Maggie, those days were very different. And although my Dad "never laid a hand on us", as people used to say, I can remember the fear that something like that might happen - we didn't ever dare to argue with our parents. M :-)