The four-year-old me picked up the sharp straight hoe and looked around to make sure no one, especially nosy adult eyes or tattling play mates, were anywhere near me or saw me acquire my new-found toy. Nope, I was alone, just me and the magical relic and oh the fun me and my new toy were about to have. It could be anything I wanted it to be, a magical spear to fend off dragons, a digger to dig up buried treasure, or a baseball bat with a very sharp end. That day, it would be for dragons, so I embarked on my magical journey and within only a few steps the fiery fiend was upon me. I swung the large-handled implement back and forth and I jabbed and parried (a word my now forty-something old self knows but my four-year old self didn’t). We both fought with courage and skill but I finally bested the vile beast. The beast was wounded and on the ground and what a passer-by may have mistaken for a fallen pine that had been skinned with the large tool I was holding (so as to make wooden posts), make no mistake this was indeed a giant, magical, fire breathing-dragon and was still incredibly dangerous and in need of finishing. So finish I did (the fight unfortunately not the beast), chopping it with straight down jabs over and over beside my little bare feet. When finally one jab bounced off the pine err I mean dragon and sent the sharp tool deep into the top of my soft right little foot followed by a tsunami of warm red well you know.
The dragon wasn’t dead after all and was still full of fight; it would live to fight another day and it had inflicted quite a wound on me, the little warrior. I cried out from a pain like my little body had never felt before and a pain that hopefully most four or eight or any other kid would never have to endure if they were lucky. But I wasn’t lucky not on this day. The greatest pain I had ever felt at the time was soon followed by the second greatest pain the little four-year old dragon warrior had witnessed – stitches. I don’t like stitches even to this day. It took a long time to get over the pain and for my legendary wounds to Heal. I would eventually learn many years later and through many more painful epic battles with so-called dragons and other violent beasts some big and small (small as in kidney stones and various surgeries) that pain can sometimes be almost unbearable and with some types of wounds, some not even physical ones that even time has trouble healing them. Sometimes all you can do is try to be strong and persevere over time until the next epic battle with the evil dragon.