Roll Barrel, Roll

House we were building

Having the five extra kids around all the time gave us someone to play with, if nothing else. Since they were around all day every day, Mom claimed she raised them but they did go home at night. The oldest boy considered himself too adult to play with us, and the next oldest thought he should be Boss as he was older than the rest of us
. We found an old barrel with the top cut out so decided to use it as a toy. We would roll it up the long slope of the hill the grave was on, near the house, then take turns getting in it and the rest pushing it off the hill and we would ride it down. The bossy kid decided he wanted to try it, so we stepped back and let him, after we had pushed it back up the hill. He rode it down and walked off. We pushed it back up, he ran up, pushing us out of the way and took another turn. Uh-huh, we saw how this was going to work out. We pushed the barrel up the hill yet again and again he ran over, pushing everyone out of the way. This time when he started rolling, we were all on the other end, nudging the barrel to go to a certain spot, then stopped it and upended it open end down into a huge green grass cow pie. Then we all took off to get out of sight before he managed to get turned back and out of there. He spent the afternoon taking potshots at us with his .22 rifle, so we took the barrel to the large creek, cleaned it up and took it up the hill across the creek beyond the sawmill.
The donkey wasn’t running to bring logs down from farther up and drop them over the edge of the large hill down onto the log deck for the mill, so we decided that would be the perfect hill to ride the barrel over. We were trying to decide who would get to go first when the two youngest boys said they should get to as both of them would fit in the barrel together. We finally agreed and they climbed in and we all donated our coats for padding as the day was warm and it was hard work getting that barrel up there.
We didn’t even have to push the barrel, it took off on its own and dropped a bit over 10 feet before it hit the first time, then bounced and hit much farther down the hill and so on until it bounced completely over the log deck. Someone at the mill had noticed the barrel coming and they were all watching when it rolled to a stop out in the middle of the mill yard and two extremely dizzy little boys flopped out.
The rest of us disappeared during the barrel’s trip down the hill as we finally figured out the boys might actually get hurt. The men had never seen the rest of us and the boys tried to say it was their idea and they took it over there, but they were only about 7 years old at the time and no one believed them. The rest of us were over at the house apologizing for killing the boys when the mill boss brought them home. We were all in some major trouble and the barrel disappeared, never to be seen by us again and the older boy got his rifle confiscated.

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