When I was little a popular party game was stick the tail on the donkey; and a similar game involving being twirled around blind folded and then trying to hit something soft hanging from a tree. I made up my own version aged 9 years old with almost tragic consequences for my 3 year old brother Justin. We had a hexagon shaped climbing frame that had a T-shaped steel bar hanging as a swing in the middle.
One fateful day I removed the 6 foot long bar and as the oldest kid in the street I manage to persuade friends and my 2 brothers to stand in a circle whilst standing in the middle I slowly swung it round me with all ducking as it came towards them. Everyone thought it great fun and ducked in time except unfortunately Justin who was a bit slow off the mark and I managed to hit him slap bang in between the eyes with what now looking back on it was a pickaxe with a 6 foot long handle.
Parents came screaming out of the house as Justin laid there out cold with blood pouring; I cried out the catch- all excuse ‘it was an accident!’ I think my parents with 3 energetic boys thought that when we had moved home a few years before; that it would be a good idea to live within a 5 minute drive of the local casualty department where we sensibly held a season ticket anyway. Justin was fine but to this day has sinus problems.
Years later overnighting at a girlfriends house, I woke in the middle of the night with a searing pain between my eyes and my face felt strangely wet. The bedroom was pitch black and so I woke my girlfriend up and she sympathetically told me to ‘shut up its nothing go back to sleep!’ So I did. At daylight my pillow and face looked like a scene out of the movie starring Vincent Price and Kenny Everett Blood bath at the house of death. There was a massive gash on the bridge of my nose which had been caused by the steel lampshade of a Directors lamp; the clamp had failed so it had fallen at speed onto my bonce. The scar is still there from the moment I fondly recall as the time God got me back.
Anyway back to donkeys as I like donkeys, instead of playing pin the tail on the donkeyI now have a new and safer version that does not involve swinging a steel bar around my head. No instead each morning and evening I venture out armed with nothing more sinister than a couple of pieces of fruit and vegetables and play look for the donkey as everyday he mysteriously gets moved to a new spot in the valley. I say strangely as in 2 summers now I have never seen anyone untie him and lead him to pastures new.