Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Lesson Learned Many Long Years Ago

Written by  Garth Horn

 Recently I heard on the news of a teenager who was charged with handling fireworks which created a grass fire on an acreage. This reminds me of an incident in my life. I think that enough time has passed now that I won’t get in trouble for admitting to the following youthful indiscretion:

When I was 13 years old, living on a farm 40 km North of Carrot River, I would sometimes go to Carrot River, stay with my Uncle Mike and play with my town friends. One summer day, I met with my friend Terry who happened to have some 2” firecrackers. We decided to light and throw some on the quiet streets of Carrot River. There happen to be some younger kids ahead of us and we lit and threw a couple firecrackers towards them. Then we heard a car approaching us from behind and a voice shouting “Stop in the name of the law!” It was the Town Police calling out from his window as he speedily approached us. Terry said, “Let’s run down the alley and empty our pockets of any firecrackers as we run.”

Shortly after, the police car was down the ally in pursuit. When we stopped, the Officer got out of his car and said, “I am arresting you for handling explosives in town limits. Get in the car. I am going to teach you two young buggers a lesson. We are going to the police station and you are going to be locked up.” There he stood, 6 foot 4 inches tall and built like a lumberjack. We were terrified not realizing the crime we just committed.

At the station, we were told to take off our belts and shoe laces. We asked him why. He said, “So you do not think of hanging yourself after I put you both in the prison cell.” So, we took off our belts and shoe laces and put them on his desk. Then he said, “Before I put you in the cell, I will read from this law book the rules of handling explosives in town limits”. We listened attentively. Then he said, “Are you very sorry for what you did and do you promise never to do it again.” We both said “Yes!” Then he asked for our parents’ names so he could phone them about the crime we had committed. Then, he said we would not be going to jail and he was letting us go with no charges. We said, “Thank you very much!” The Officer then said we could put on our belts and shoe laces and offered to drive us where we wanted to go. We both agreed to be dropped off at the Café downtown so we could unwind by having a coke and chips.

The Police Officer never did phone our parents, and it was many years later when I told my Mom and Dad of this story and a lesson learned.



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