I grew up in a rural farming community in Ontario. The time slot I'm talking about is the summer of 1963. We had indoor plumbing, and electricity, but no phone until 1965. We even had an old outhouse behind the back shed, but it was never used when I was there.
Our neighbours next door had 3 daughters, one was my age, one 2 years younger, and one 4 years younger. They had a farm with a few sheep and cattle. They lived in a typical farm house that had running water and electricity, but no plumbing upstairs. The two oldest girls had to carry the slop pail from the upstairs toilet downstairs, and outside. The place they threw it was a drainage ditch of sorts that the sink in the kitchen drained into.
The kitchen in that house was an add-on that jutted out of the back of the main building. It had it's own back entrance and a tin roof. The girls' bedroom had a big window that opened out onto the kitchen roof. The area behind the house was mainly sewer drainage, mud, slop, trees and bushes.
One summer day the oldest girl and I decided to climb out the bedroom window and slide down the kitchen roof . Both of us were twelve years old, and we hadn't grown into our brains yet. We thought it was a fun idea. This was in the days of no seat belts, easily obtained firecrackers, cap guns, and cigarette machines. Our sense of safety for kids was pretty much non existent.
The idea that day was to slide down the tin roof to see if we could stop before we fell off. My friend could, I couldn't. The only thing that I can remember clearly, was windmilling my arms and legs as I crashed through the trees and foliage, screaming myself hoarse.
I was only wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, no protection against trees and bushes. To this day I don't know how I survived that ten foot fall. Maybe the patron saint of stupid kids was looking out for me. Luckily what I fell into was soft. Sloppy, slushy and disgusting, but soft. I fell smack dab into the middle of the sewer drainage ditch behind the house.
I only vaguely remember the 3 girls dragging me out of the ditch before I drowned. I remember that there was a lot of laughing and disgusted squealing from the girls, crying and yelling from me. I was coated to the chest with unimaginable crap - literally. the girls wouldn't let me into the house to clean up, for good reason. They had a hand pump on a cement pad by the barnyard. It was used to run water into a cement trough for the animals.
It was a warm day, but the water from that pump was ice cold. The girls pumped the water, and I sat under it, and cleaned up as best I could. There was a path worn through two fields and a rail fence, that we used to go back and forth. It was full of high grass, berry bushes brambles, and apple orchard.I took this path home, limping and crying most of the way. I was scratched and bleeding slightly, but I had no broken bones. I was a tiny twelve year old, soaking wet with pump water and sewer slop. My friend and I have never mentioned that day again.