The school playground at Red Brick North Elementary school was bordered on two sides with woods out of which appeared a variety of wild life.
Deer were the most common; followed by a few fox, and also one or two wolves, generally seen in winter. Teachers kept a sharp look out during recess, lunch period, and the gym teacher was helped by an aide who also kept watch for any four legged intruder.
One day Dan’s second grade class was out for morning recess when a small black and white visitor silently entered the playground and waddled over to the large slide and camped out underneath the base of it.
It slept soundly until the sound of feet and yelling children were heard. Since the slide was one of the more popular places to go, and boys are boys, it was common for the first group of boys to climb up the slide before the teachers said, “no more of that!”
Dan was the third boy in line that morning heading for the slide. The first boy was halfway up the slide and the second boy was just jumping on the slide as Dan approached.
As his foot hit the slide and he grabbed on to the sides, an unmistakable and well known odor hit him hard.
Shouts of “YUK!” followed by teachers yelling to “get away from there!” were mixed in with the shock of the odor engulfing Dan and his burning his eyes.
Running away and toward the building he heard, “STOP! Daniel Martin and stay where you are.”
Riding home in the back of the pickup was something he would never forget.