By Paul's request.
It was a cool fall evening in the mid to late 80's in Eastern Washington. My mother and I had come to a stand off about something. She told me to go to my room. I said "no". Years prior I had determined that she could not force me to do anything. Since she wouldn't hit me and wasn't likely to physically enforce Time Out, I declared that she could not "boss me around" anymore.
But this time she caught me by surprise. She actually grabbed me by the arm and tossed me in my room.
This was a HUGE shock and could not be endured.
I immediately pulled my Rainbow Brite bag from under my bed and went straight to work packing. As I recall, I grabbed only the necessities:
Blanket (baby sized)
Collected works of A.A. Milne
Small cast iron real working sewing machine (for work?)
Hamster carrier containing: hamster and hamster food.
I changed into my best adventure outfit (replete with boots, overalls, and pith helmet) put the bag on my back and the carrier under my arm and climbed out my first floor window.
I walked across the lawn and down into the ditch along side the road. I would guess I made it 2 blocks (though it seemed really far at the time) and it started to get dark. I decided to make camp for the night. There was a culvert over the ditch (to accommodate spring flood water) and that seemed like a good place to hide out.
I can't remember if the man was already there, or if he came in after I was in there, but he did have white hair and a hat.
"Shouldn't you go home?" the man said, stooped over in the short culvert. "It's dark now though," I feebly protested.
"Well, I'll walk with you then."
And we walked all 2 blocks back to my window. I climbed in, he handed me my bags and a while later mom brought me French toast.
I told her that I left and that some man told me to go home. I even showed her my packed bag. But she didn't believe me- which was for the best, because I would have been in for the whupping of a lifetime.
I remain convinced to this day that this occurred- I can remember the light during sunset, the damp smell of the ditch, and the fear of being alone.
I'd like to think that some kind homeless man rescued me, though he was more likely just an old man on a walk through our tranquil small town neighborhood.
Having now discussed this story at length with various people I wanted to write a couple of things:
1. I am absolutely positive this happened- it is my mother who categorically denies this occurred.
2. I declare that this is a happy story:
I didn't get molested or left for dead in a ditch.
I didn't get in trouble, because my mom didn't believe me.
The hamster got to experience some invigorating travel (and live to tell the tale).
And in the end, everyone (except the hamster) got French toast (which is arguably the best thing my mom knows how to cook).
This is a story about a plucky little kid doing funny things. These are the exact sort of crazy things that I would do all the time.
Enjoy my cute story, damn it.