My reckless childhood

Modern parents, like me, have a tendency to wrap their kids in cotton wool. We do it because we don’t want anything bad to happen to them. Fortunately my kids are very cautious and would never do anything reckless anyway but I was thinking recently about some of the things I did as a child and how I would never let my own kids do these things.

What did I do?

My grandfather was a pig farmer in outback Queensland and we used to visit the farm almost every year. The farm is still there; my uncles own it now. Something I used to do that completely horrifies me is I’d climb the tall ladder into the towering silos of grain and run around inside. It was fun because you’d sink into the grain up to your knees or more, making it hard to run. But had anyone poured grain out from the bottom of the silo, and they would never have known I was in there, I’d have become quickly buried in a quick-sand-like substance and suffocated. I’m not sure whether my parents knew that we did this. Probably not.

We also used to tear around the farm on my grandfather’s ride-on lawn mower. He would take the blade off so this was a relatively safe activity. We’d ride horses, sometimes bareback (ponies only I think) and milk the cow (or try to anyway), and collect eggs from the hens. We also used to drive the Mini Moke long before we ever had a car licence.

There were countless hours spent exploring the scrub and wandering off in random directions where I suppose we could have got lost and/or bitten by a poisonous snake. The farm had the biggest huntsmen spiders I’ve ever seen and I’m terrified of spiders. The toilet under the house was a home for green frogs whose legs would appear from under the rim with every flush.

What’s the most dangerous thing you did as a kid?