Tag in the old elm

My friends and I had a lot of adventures in that treehouse. It was a club house, space ship, time machine, a balloon sailing around the world and a fort. We even played tag on it. Or I should say around it.
To be truthful, I only clearly remember one time It was the last time. We had an unusually large group that day. There was a mixture of boys and girls. I believe the age range was between 10 and 15. Of the group I only can only clearly see two of the ten or so kids up in the tree that day. Richard from across the street and the Crawford’s grandson (His name escapes me at this time). The Crawford’s grandson visited them often. His parents were divorced, and his grandparents watched him a lot. Richard was a year younger than I was at the time and the Crawford’s grandson was younger still. I think he was one of the youngest in the group.
The treehouse hadn’t been built until I was in junior high It was my buddy Paul Newell who brought his dad’s chain saw and removed the top of the limb so we could expand the size of the floor. If I remember right that limb hadn’t been removed yet. That left a wider path around the front.
We raced around the treehouse and up and down limbs. Some fled down my fireman’s pole and raced back up the various paths that could be found. We were having a grand time. Then Richard was tagged it.
Richard was one of those fellows that refuses to lose. He wouldn’t ever admit that he had been bested. I learned that lesson the year he and I had a snowball fight. I had claimed the high ground. Fifteen foot above the ground on the roof of the treehouse. I had collected all the snow I could from around the base of the tree. A big round washtub full. Enough to discourage any other fellow. Richard couldn’t hit me. By the time the snowball he threw made it to where I was It had slowed down enough that I could dodge it. Most of his snowballs didn’t make it that high. I thought I had him beat. I was wrong. I landed some pretty good hits. Then he started up the tree. I got him a couple more times and then realized I was running out of ammunition. And he was still coming. I got desperate and dumped what was left in the bottom of the washtub on his head. He kept coming. So, he won the day.
Richard chased a few other of the kids then fixed his sites on the Crawford grandson. The chase was on. I was on the far side of the roof ready to use the top of the old antenna pole that functioned as our firepole to escape Richard it this was a ploy of his. It wasn’t and I realized that the Crawford boy was in trouble. Up he went higher and higher the limb he was on started to sway he was getting pretty high and Richard was right behind him. I yelled for Richard to stop. On up they both went. I told Richard he had him. The Crawford boy was now it. Didn’t stop Richard and didn’t stop the kid. They were far enough up the tree that the limbs had narrowed and swayed under their weight. Richard almost reached him. He was only a couple feet away. I watched din horror and helpless as I saw the Crawford boy slip! Down he went. He didn’t hit any limbs on the way down. They were that far out and probably more than twenty feet up. He hit the ground and lay there. Down the pole I went but as I ran up to him, he jumped up and ran to his grandparent’s. I don’t remember him coming back to play the rest of the summer. So, ended our tag in the trees.

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