Deadly Hill

December 18, 2008
By Steven Toth, Mesa, AZ

My family and I were in California visiting my cousin. As soon as we got there, my cousin, Matthew, wanted to play basketball. So my brother, Chasen, and I went over to accompany him. Matthew decided he wanted to do something else and left Chasen and I playing basketball. He started climbing on the brick wall behind us, when he lost his balance and tumbled down. He ended up breaking his arm. At that split second, I was reminded about an occasion when I fell off a tree and almost broke my arm.

“Let’s go!” yelled my mom, Susie, as I finished getting ready to take the treacherous hike down my aunt and uncle’s stairs going down their hill in their backyard. I came running out the sliding glass door completely convinced that they left without me. They did, but luckily they only went about 50 steps down. I caught up with them just as they reached the bottom. We started our hike. The dogs were in front, with my brother and my cousin trailing behind them almost like mushers on sleds controlling the dogs.
We walked over to the side of the hill where there was a path to the top. It was a path that was about the size of a two lane road. It curved all the way to the top of the hill where there lay a lonely tree. This tree was scattered with dead leaves. It had small dot like holes and was completely surrounded by weeds. There was a rope swing hanging on one of the large branches off the side of it. Matthew saw the swing and became so excited, that it looked like his eyes were going to drop out of his head made m want to cry tears of laughter. He ran, almost hopping at the same time to his father, Joel, asking him if he can swing on it. Joel said, “Ok, why not?” So they both walked over to it. Matthew jumped on the swing, and started swinging back and forth, till he got bored and wanted to get off. Then I glanced at my brother and saw the pleading expression in his eyes, knowing that he wanted to go next. Since I am the one with the brains, and knew that this rope was at least 50 years old, I told him I’m going next. I thought that if the rope can hold me, then it will surely be able to hold him. I walked over to the swing. It seemed it was staring me in the face, like telling me, “I dare you to ride me” or “Think you will get off me alive.” Like the dare devil I try to be, I ignored the signs, grabbed the rope, grasping it as tight as can be, I placed both feet on the piece of wood, praying that it won’t break beneath my weight. Luckily it held me. My uncle pushed me and I went swinging off the hill. As I looked down, it seemed as though, I was hovering in space. I felt frozen, just the wind and me flying back and forth. All of a sudden, the enjoyment I was having came to an end when I felt a vibration underneath my foot, almost like the wood was going to crack. I told my uncle I wanted to get off. As I came in for the landing, both of my feet touched the ground. Suddenly I lost my grip, because the dirt below me was too fine. I was hanging on to the rope for dear life, swinging back out over the side of the hill. The piece of wood that I was standing on was now smacking me in the face, almost like punishing me, for what I did. As I came back closer to the tree, my hands couldn’t hold me any longer. I lost my grip and started to fall. For a second there, I thought that I was going to be able to spread my wings and take off flying in to the sunset. But unfortunately, nothing ever goes the way I want. I hit the ground, bouncing a few times, until I came to an abrupt stop. I was face first right into a pile of weeds. I didn’t want to move one bone in my body. I was worried that I broke a rib or maybe something more important like my neck. Finally, after what seemed to be hours lying there, my father came to me to tell me that I had to move. I cautiously moved my head and I looked up only to realize that not only did I just have a horrible crash landing, but I was only a foot away from completely shattering my head on a solid brick wall.
Incidents happen, one may happen tomorrow, or one may happen months from now, but no matter what, it’s going to happen. You may be able to prevent one incident, but the next one will be waiting. Even though some incidents aren’t very pleasant, you will learn from them, just as I did. I learned that it’s better to swing above something a little safer then a hill.

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