Rafter Tag

I clung to the wire side of the corncrib as my foot slipped out the square hole and felt my body weight pull on my hands as my feet dangled. I didn’t screech or cry out, I was used to this; it was exciting. I loved to feel the wind whip around me as I climbed up the open sides of the corncrib. My foot found another hole and I continued to scale the wire wall until I reached the rafters above.

The corncrib was really just a frame of a building with wire in place of walls. It had a full roof over the rafters, and down on the ground the rabbit hutches were housed. Some one a long time before had hauled some boards up to the rafters forming a makeshift platform. It was a great hangout, high above the ground and with no walls the view was beautiful, if a bit cool and drafty.

I could sit on the platforms and look out over the duck pond at the barn. I scanned over blueberry bushes and fields, woods and marsh. I could daydream for hours up there in quiet solitude. There were days though, when my brothers and I would find ourselves up there growing bored. One day we developed a new game, and rightly named it rafter tag.

In our hours on the platforms we slowly began to venture out onto the rafters themselves. We discovered that while standing on a rafter we could reach our hands up above our heads and cling onto the beams in the roof. Using the beam above us for balance we would shuffle along the rafters. Slowly this evolved into games of tag.

Paul tapped me on my shoulder, “you’re it!” and off he shuffled. I took in the position of my two brothers and quickly shuffled after Kimball. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, nab.
“Hah! Gotcha!”
“Whoa! Watch it, don’t tag to hard,” as I shuffled off in the opposite direction. It’s a wonder any of us are still alive to tell the story, I know my mom never would have let us up there if she knew what we were up to. So, do you know what your kids are up to? Heh. 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Personal History, Writing

5 responses to “Rafter Tag

  1. Mine’s playing with the rolling pin. What could be safer?

  2. In my case it was running up the face of a rock cliff–barefoot (impossible in shoes) in rattlesnake country. I shudder to think of what could have happened as we routinely courted death in our play. This is the reason for the “ten year rule” in our family. I recognize some things are better left unknown to loving parents whose hair would turn white overnight if they knew at the time. As my kids are now exposing me to certain things…I’m not sure if 10 yrs is long enough! I’m still working on the fact that my son wasIN THE SAME WATER as ALLIGATORS at work on a regular basis. Daily I queried him about gator sitings–always none reported! Gasp!

    Oh, and if Paul is your husband, I do know him–Hello, Paul. I still cannot see a U-haul and not think of you.

  3. Paul is my brother and my husband, the curse of marrying a man with the same name, hee hee. I can’t even refer to him by his middle name, David, as I have a brother-in-law by the name of David. 🙂 In this case, the Paul referred to is my brother, in most other cases the Paul referred to is my hubby. It does make a rather complicated mess of things, doesn’t it? 🙂

  4. yeah, you might want to be careful in which circles you say, “paul is my brother and husband.”

    LOL 😉

    it’s amazing what we would do as kids, that would strike fear in us to our very core if we saw kids doing it now.

  5. For my brothers and I it was riding bikes down to the river and building forts down in the brush in the nature preserve. I’m sure we did more dangerous things at home but I can’t think of any right now.

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