The Runaway

I decided to run away from home when I was about 5 years old.

My best friend Beth lived down a hill and across several acres of prime dairy farm. There were a few barbed wire fences and a herd of black and white Holstein cows along the way. Those small things, however, were not going to stop me. I was going to go live with her. Life would be good at her house. She didn’t have any brothers.

I threw all my earthly belongings into Moms old hat box, grasped the flimsy ribbon band like a handle, and snuck out the back door.

My escape route led beyond the back yard, past the chicken house, the fruit house, the woodshed, and the garage. A narrow path led between a wall and a sharp uphill slope to the garden.

Through the gate I pushed, and fled beneath the pink climbing rose that trailed up to the roof. I was going to miss the rose bush and the chicken house.

I hurried across the flat grassy area that was edged on one side by some old growth forest. It was very dark and scary when you were alone. The other side had low scrub trees growing on the perimeter of a steep incline that led to the “lower pasture’ and a duck pond. Sometimes it was just mud and swamp and that day was no exception.

I tumbled several times during my descent. That box was bulky and awkward for my short little arms and legs.

When I reached the pasture, I tripped over a plowed furrow and landed in the mud. The hatbox lid rolled away trailing with it my panties and socks.

Darn clothes anyway. Beth’s mom would probably take me shopping and buy me all new clothes. Most of mine were hand me downs.

By the time I reached the electric fence that separated our small farm from the dairy, the hatbox was beginning to fall to pieces. I had tears in my eyes as I propped the disintegrating package against a fence post.

Several bovine in the adjacent field became aware of my whimpers and ambled over for a closer look. It wasn’t long before the entire herd headed my way.

This was getting serious. I couldn’t go on because the cows were so big and they had tails like ropes that kept switching this way and that.

I didn’t want to go back, because I knew that there would be a switching there, too. Especially when mom saw what I had done to her hatbox.

Hence, I bent over, sobbed into my hands and hid my eyes from the staring cows and the demolished hatbox.

That’s when something touched my shoulder.

I looked up to see my brother Mike standing close with a silly grin on his face. He couldn’t help it. He just had a silly grin.

“Let me help ya!” he offered.

He gathered up scattered muddy clothes and ripped up hatbox in one arm. With his other arm, he reached out and offered me his hand. Together we started walking back across the soggy pasture towards home.

That’s when I decided I didn’t want to go live at Beth’s house after all. She didn’t have any brothers.


Jenny said…
Stop doing this. Stop writing these beautiful posts that make me all teary and miss home.

Okay. Don't stop. But next time warn me first.
Jeanette said…
Hi Pamela
Such a lovely story your brother come to your rescue and helped you home.
Heather said…
Aw, that's so sweet!

As I was making the trek with you in my mind, it could almost have been the well-trodden path between my house and my best friend Julie's. I think we regularly schemed whose house we would live at when our families were driving us crazy.
BarnGoddess said…
WOW! great story!! and a lovely memory

it came alive inside my mind. Brothers, you gotta love them, even at the tender age of 5 yo :)
Sue said…
Do you and Mike still talk about that story now that you're grown?
I didn't have older siblings, but had two younger brothers. I was usually the one helping them out of their little dilemmas..
Great story!!
Kila said…
Aww, what a touching post.

My boys can be loving to each other at times, in ways a sister just would not be. Very sweet.

What happened when Mom saw the hatbox? Or did brother hide it?
Dawn said…
That is so sweet. Make me want to hug my brother!
Pam said…
What a delightful story. So, what specifically did your brothers do that warranted an escape??
Jenn said…
you are a truly gifted artist. both painting and the spoken word.

Thank you for always sharing your talents. I love your stories!
Heather said…
I ran away once, also. I packed a suitcase and hid out in our backyard. I watched my dad leave on his bike to look for me. Then I went home for dinner. Growling stomachs show no mercy, you know.
I still had to go to dance class that evening.
rose said…
That is beautiful. I'm stuck haven't written for a while Since I found yours I don't hsve to. I just enjoy yours everyday Rose
AJ said…
What a cute it just a right of passage for all little 5 year old girls to want to run away from home?? I'm hoping your Mamma didn't switch ya too bad!
Kathleen Marie said…
What a perfectly precious story. That would be a great children's book!

On the Christmas Party - about 30 to 35 women... Apples? Curious!?
SongBird said…
Awwwww.....I loved this story!!! I could just picture you trudging along with your hatbox.
Anonymous said…
What a sweet story. I wish I had a brother!
Claudia said…
Like everyone already said, what a sweet story!
Pass the Torch said…
What an awesome, beautiful, perfect post.

You're a master, Pamela.
Okay, make me cry why don't you!!??

Great story -- especially on a day when I'm appreciating and worrying over MY brother. Funny coincidence. I was thinking how glad I am to have my brothers today.

Thanks for the happy smile :-)
ablondeblogger said…
Aww, that is so sweet. I grew up without brothers or sisters and I envy you that. (I have two half-sisters now that are 15 and 17, but I didn't grow up with them, obviously)

Your story reminds me of the time I threatened to run away, made it as far as the front porch, saw the dark, scary world in front of me, and very quickly huffed back into my bedroom, lol.
Pamela said…
Kila: I talked to my brother tonight and he said mom patched it up and put it back on her dresser

Pam: He also told me that he thought it was a little power struggle - not so much with my brothers -as much as it was with my mom

AJ: I don't remember getting spanked. Mike said he didn't remember me getting spanked, either.

Thanks to the rest of you for commenting -- I liked knowing some of you ran away, too.
Matt said…
i'm such a pussy. i decided to run away from home as soon as i got into my safety school.
Janean said…
I loved it! I was 11 when I first ran away. Was going to my grammas house about 5 miles away, walking down the highway in the oregon rain in a dress and socks. No shoes. I actually made it 3 miles.
My mother didn't have a car so she had to call the pastor of our church to come pick me up in his old VW bus.
I still got a spanking. :D
Thanks for the post. Wonderful. Found it from "Pass the Torch".
Robin said…
Pamela, I knew I'd wanna savor this one, too--1) from the title; 2) from the picture and 3) From Kelly's PP nomination (have I congratulated you over here?? If not, CONGRATS!).

A great coming-of-age tale, where the important things rise to the top after all. Much enjoyed!

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