When Alex’s rubber tired wagon was a runaway

Published 9:18am Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Suddenly, the harness broke and the wagon with the corn, my father, my uncle and me began to overrun the horse. He was forced to run faster, trying to stay ahead of the loaded wagon.

My uncle realized the horse was running away, so he grabbed me by one arm, lifted me above the back gate of the wagon, and told me, “Start running, fast.” Then he turned me loose.

Not realizing exactly what was happening, I did not start running. Instead, I fell forward and my face dug into the rough gravel. Blood gushed immediately. My uncle realized that I was hurt, so he jumped out of the wagon and injured one knee as he fell to the highway.

My father looked back and saw my uncle and me tumbling on the highway and thought it funny, until he suddenly realized that we were truly hurt. The wagon was at the bottom of the hill by now, so he was able to bring the horse and wagon to a halt.

With me in his arms, my uncle hobbled down the hill to where my father was attempting to repair the harness. He stopped the repair as soon as he saw my bloody, ripped and torn face.

We finally made it home, and my mother cleaned my blood-caked and scraped face.

“Thank goodness, she said, “no place is deep enough to require stitches, but his entire face will be scarred for life, I’m afraid.”

She was determined that was not to be. Every night, for more than two months, my mother would massage my entire face with Vaseline petroleum jelly. I have no scars from the incident.

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