Maybe it was due to there being so many of us kids, but it seemed that our house had more than it's share of accidents and injuries within...
There was the time that Hoss and Lorra were playing house. As "married" couples will sometimes do, they became engaged in a heated argument. Lorra, in a fit of anger, threw a book at Hoss, knocking out one of his teeth. Instead of running to tattle, he reckoned this was a perfect opportunity to obtain the services of his very own slave! Lorra went along with this for a few hours. But, as the day grew longer, her patience grew shorter, till she finally cornered him and threatened to knock out another tooth! His reign as Master had met a quick end.
I'm getting ahead of myself. I should first tell about the time that Hoss fell from the car and onto the street. I am reporting this from hearsay, as I wasn't born yet. I think he was around two years old, as the story goes. All the kids were crammed in the back seat and Daddy and Mama were up front. Hoss was seated between Cindy and the door. Distracted by something the other kids were doing to her left, Cindy was looking in the other direction, when she felt a blast of air to her right. She quickly looked and found that Hoss was no longer in his seat and immediately alerted Daddy and Mama.
After getting that boat of a car turned around, they headed back the other way. A little piece down the road, they saw a state trooper standing, pale as a ghost and holding Hoss. Seems he was just about to drive on over that lump in the road, but Hoss wiggled or something, just as he approached. Hoss says he can remember being in the street and seeing the bumper of that car stop above him. But that is all he recalls of the event.
When the trooper reached to pick him up, he saw red coming from his lips and noticed Hoss was crunching something, he was sure this poor baby has just had all his teeth knocked out. Turned out that Hoss had just been enjoying a sucker when he exited the vehicle and was still crunching on it happily, when he was discovered. He wasn't even crying! After an explanation of what had happened, my parents were given back their baby and sent on their way. If a this were to happen today, it would have made national news and we would all have been made wards of the state.
Or there was the time that Andy shot Sonny in the head with a BB. He had thought the gun was empty and only planned to sneak up on his brother, stick it to his head and make a BANG! sound as he pulled the trigger. He got a shock when Sonny cut loose hollering and blood began seeping from the back of his head! Daddy and Mama were not home, so Andy, only six or seven years old at the time, walked a couple of miles to the nearest store, crying the whole way, and tearfully told them that he had just killed his little brother. I'm not sure what happened from there, but obviously Sonny survived.
Also, Sonny stepped on a big shard of glass once and cut his heel nearly clean off. Our parents did happen to be home that time, by some miracle, and he was taken to the hospital, where the re-attached his heel. It healed nicely, but feeling never returned to that part of his foot.
James threw a knife at Cindy once and it went right into her leg. I'm guessing that one just healed with no treatment. But enough about all of them...
I once found a detached electric plug and toddled directly to an outlet and plugged it in. My next memory is of being dazed and confused, several feet away, with an electrical burn inside my hand. Daddy and Mama were sitting in the next room but had not noticed a thing. I was around three at the time, I think. To that, add the time that I almost cut off three of the fingers on my right hand and bled like a stuck pig. My brothers and sisters did their best to doctor on me, refusing to let me go to sleep, though I was so drowsy, as they feared I might die. Or the time I nearly drowned in the Yadkin river and Sonny, being the only person to see me go under, swam out and rescued me.
But there are two injuries that I remember more than any of the rest...
The first one occurred on a warm summer day. Several of us kids were gathered around the stereo and listening to the record "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Being just a little kid, I couldn't help but start dancing to such a catchy tune. Somehow, my dancing morphed into jumping and twirling. I was having the time of my life! Suddenly, my foot felt like it was on fire and I was screaming and crying to beat sixty! My jumping had jarred a package of sewing pins from a nearby shelf and they had scattered on the floor. My foot had manages to get what seemed like hundreds of them embedded into it. It was just the one foot, I'm not sure how the other one missed out.
Daddy put me on his lap, pulled out all the pins, and then loaded up all us youngans and took us to Sweet Sues for ice cream. If we ever got ice cream, which was almost never, it came from there. Each night, when they empties the soft serve machines, the leftover ice cream was placed in large paper cups and deep frozen. They called this "hard pack" ice cream and a person could get six huge cups of it for only a dollar. It was so hard that a plastic spoon wouldn't even sink below it's surface and it took hours to melt. Probably a horrible thing to someone who ate ice cream frequently, but to us it was absolutely divine! The next day, my dear siblings tried their best to convince me that I should dance on pins again, on the chance that it might score us some more ice cream.
The other "accident" also happened on a warm summer day. The woods around our house were full of wild grapes. These were almost as good as candy to us kids. One afternoon, all the kids, but for myself and the baby, were getting ready to head off into the woods to gather some of these grapes. I begged to go and they finally relented. Those woods were so thick that daylight turned to dark before long. I was a little scared, but did not turn back. Fear turned to tickled pink, when I found some vines on limbs that were weighted down enough for me to stand on my toes and reach. I started picking as fast as my little hands could go!
Suddenly rain started to fall. I could brave the dark, but rain was a total deal breaker! I began to cry, "I want to go home! It's raining!"
Then a voice from above boomed, "It's not raining! I'm peeing!"
There, standing on a limb above, was James peeing right one my head! My cries changed to screams. One of the oldest kids grabbed me and began to run home. It was no use. By the time we reached the house, I was covered from head to toe in mosquito bites! I can still remember how I itched and how bad that pee smelled. I'm still not convinced that he did this by accident.
I'm sure what I remember barely even touched upon the actual total of calamities that happened in the Holler, not by a long shot.