Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Benjamin home, we called this place. A large pasture provided new and exciting places to explore and occasionally would turn up a treasured item with which to play. A favorite one, I recall, was an old discarded wood stove. We worked hard to drag it from a good distance away into our playhouse area that we had “built” with rocks and whatever else we could find.

It was at this home that we received one of our most favorite pets -- a goat. Our half-brother who visited with us from time to time gave it to us. In the mornings, the goat would go under the house and butt his head against the floor to wake us up. We would go out and feed him, then would play the day away chasing, and being chased.

A large ditch ran the length of the front of this house and beside it stood a tree that, in the fall, would shower down its leaves of yellow and red. It was our chore to rake the leaves from the yard into the ditch. This “chore” provided play for hours on end.


The scruffiest tree one might ever see,
It stood just inside of the fence.
Its leaves fluttered down and caused Mother to frown
As the pile became quite immense.

Taking wing without sound, the leaves covered the ground
'til the ground became yellow and red;
Then out came the brooms and, swept into a mound,
The leaves made a wonderful bed.

To the ditch the leaves went, then the children, intent
Taking turns, they ran and they jumped.
They tossed and they tumbled, they giggled and rumbled,
One might say the children were pumped.

The leaves became scattered, but little it mattered
Their laughter sent waves of pure joy.
And Mother was pleased to bask in the breeze
While the children played happily sans toys.

O, where did it go, the time and the place
Where children could make their own fun?
Plant a tree, if you please, and give children release
To play in fresh air and the sun.

In our world, play was what you could make of it, and play we did!

In our world, play was what you could make of it, and play we did!