Some have asked, "Why the kiddie merry-go-round?"

Well, it's kind of a funny story, really. (I can hear the groans now -- "Not another story!") Tough! You asked, so just shut yer yap and sit a spell and listen to The Tale of the Two Guys and the Merry-Go-Round -- and the Girl.

Once upon a time a young man and another slightly older man went in search of the perfect campsite for their Shire (it's an S.C.A. thing -- that's The Society for Creative Anachronism to those not in the know) and they took along their friend who just happened to be me.

O, I remember it well. It was a blisteringly hot summer's day when we came to Anastasia Park in St. Augustine, Florida. (I know! What day isn't blisteringly hot in Florida in the summer, right?)

Well, the young guy and I stayed outside while the older guy went inside to talk with the rangers about the availability of the camp for a particular SCA event coming up that fall. Afterwards the three of us, with permission from the rangers, decided to do a little looking around and exploring. That's when we found it! The playground!

O, it was deceptively magical all tucked away in the woods as it was. How it danced and glimmered in the dappled sunlight teasing us along like a wil-o-the-wisp. With the three of us being as young as we were we just simply could not resist the playful come hither look of the playground. We just had to start playing on the equipment. Had to! It was purely for research sake, of course! We had to make sure the playground was safe for any future SCAers who might camp and play there.

So, there I was sitting pretty in a borrowed dress that belonged to one of my BFFs. I was rooming with her and her sister at the time and she very kindly set me up with one of her nice dresses so I could look a little more business-like when we talked to park rangers and so forth that day.

Where was I? O, that's right! I was sitting pretty on the merry-go-round while the two guys sweetly rotated it for me. Did I say sweetly? I actually meant sadistically. Because, you see, they kept making it go faster and faster. The older guy gave up after a while but the young guy, well, he just kept running faster and faster wearing what I would call a devilishly gleeful expression on his face.

I'll never forget how, despite the speed that the merry-go-round was whirling away at, everything seemed to sssssslllllloooowwww wwwwaaaaaayyyyyy ddddddddooooowwwwnnnn... as I watched my hands clinging so tightly, so very tightly to one of the merry-go-round's bars slowly sliding open and then --

Suddenly my hands lost all contact with the bar and I went flying off, flying off through the air like a pygmy hippo who had somehow found itself airborne due to the earth suddenly losing its gravity.

As I slid to a stop in the sand and leaves I lost all consciousness.

The next thing I remember is the older guy leaning down with care and concern while the young guy whispered in is ear, "I think she's dead -- let's get out of here!"

And that was the most remarkable thing of all because that was exactly what my brother had said as I came to back when I was a little girl and had gotten the wind knocked out of me while we were playing. Of course, the young guy only punctuated what he said with a great guffaw of laughter but my brother and his friends actually did leave me laying there. Brothers. Go figure. But they can be there for you when you need them the most.

So, you see, this is why the kiddie merry-go-round. I've simply never been the same since that day. ;-)

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