Monday, February 4, 2013

A Canadian Dare

Shrieks and laughter fill the air. Children run screaming past one another without a care in the world. Backpacks are scattered on the ground, forgotten until the bell's call to summon them back. It's that magical time between the weekend and the official start to the school week. The kids take full advantage of these last precious moments and run for all they are worth.

Newly fallen snow makes a perfect home for tumbling bodies to fling themselves with abandon down the waiting hill. Pencils will soon be clutched in stubborn fingers, but right now it is all about the best that winter has to offer - snow; light and fluffy snow.

"I dare you!" rings out a voice.

Why is it that boys cannot resist a dare? How is it that manhood rears it's ugly head on the grounds of the primary school yard so early? And yet it does. And every year this ritual gets repeated on school yards across the northern hemisphere.

"I double-dog dare you!" Things are getting serious.

More shrieks fill the air, but the peal of the morning bell cuts playtime short for these youngsters. It is time for school to begin.

Another cry fills the air. This one is a little more distressed; a little less happy in tone. And that is when a woman's stricken face streaks past shouting for help. Her arm points backwards towards a few lone figures still standing by the fence at the bottom of the hill.

The metal fence.

At least the boy wasn't left alone to attempt to rip his tongue off the frozen fence. Nothing that a little warm water won't solve, but terror is not the way to start the week off for any young soul. I suppose he won't do that again. The watching parents that slowly wander away shake their heads at the morning's antics. The boy has been freed. No harm has been done. But his moment of captivity, with soft, fleshy tongue stuck to a rusty metal pole in the dead of winter has been enough to shoot all these laughing adults back in time to when they too stood stuck to their own poles in a Canadian winter.

As who can resist the deadly triple-dog dare.

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