It was very seldom that my Dad needed to do anything but scold, or give me “the look” to make me behave. This would reduce me to tears, and cause a change in the course I was taking! My brother and I often quarreled, but he could break up the little spat without wasting too many words.
Well, one day when I was about 8 years old, and my brother around 13, he had gone to help my Dad grind feed, and shovel it back into the feed house, while the feed grinder was running. The wind was blowing in the wrong way that day, and my brother became very ill from the fumes of the gasoline motor.
In the meanwhile, I had arranged all of my dolls on the fainting couch, into separate little imaginary homes. (This was a couch with one raised end, and was a good place to rest) I arranged them and then ran down the path to go to the little outdoor “backhouse”. While I was gone, my brother came in the house, scooped up all of my dolls, and piled them in a heap on the floor.
When I came back, he was lying on the fainting couch, with my dolls in sad array on the floor. I didn’t realize that he was sick. I grabbed a hold of his arm, and yanked him off of the couch, jumped straddle of him, and poked him in the nose. Blood shot everywhere, and, at that precise moment, my father walked into the room to check on my brother! Almost before I knew he was there, I ended up over my father’s knee, with several whacks on my behind. Looking up at my Dade with my eyes filled with tears, I could see sadness on his face too. I was informed that Gaylord was very ill from the gas fumes, and I felt I had committed the “unpardonable sin”!
Well, I think that I gave more thought about such actions in the future, and Gaylord and I both survived.
Since then, I have heard that people, many years before, had used “bleeding” as a cure for a lot of things that were wrong, so, I have often joked with my brother that I really probably saved his life!
Words 363 Verna Mull March 2, 2009
Read more articles by Verna Mull or search for articles on the same topic or others.