FF – Childhood Hero

Image copyright Anne Higa

Childhood Hero

Growing up, Uncle Jerry was my hero because he had one leg longer than the other. He’d show us kids. “Look, ma leeeft leeeg’s longer. Jus’ started that way when I’s fifteen. ‘Swhy I ne’er got called up.”

I noticed as a teen that sometimes his reet leeg was the longer, and then my Mum let slip how Uncle Jerry had a medal for valour. So I started to push a hip forward a little and tease my little cousins that I inherited Uncle Jerry’s condition and they’d better watch out in case one day they woke up the same.

Addendum: apologies to those who read the early version without the last word. Not sure how that got missed but I love your ideas as to what it should have been.

31 Comments

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31 responses to “FF – Childhood Hero

  1. In case they woke up the …. what?

    • I think he was just trying to entertain the kids and avoid talking about (or possibly glorifying) war. Pretty sure he’s still a hero at the end of the story, just a different kind than the narrator first thought.

  2. It seems they inherited their Uncle Jerry’s teasing personality. Like Dale, I want to know what they may wake up!

    • Sorry for the typo – it’s fixed now. The idea if Jerry just woke up with one leg shorter aged 15, they might suffer the same fate. The narrator definitely aspires to be a bit more like Uncle Jerry.

  3. Inquiring minds want to know… “same”? “fool”? “lopsided loser the rest of us are”? “”Leaning Tower”? “Emperor of Mars”? “Goblin King”? lol

  4. Bear

    Woke up what???? Though I don’t need to ask… I have a feeling. And when it does wake, it’s not gonna be pleased. And all H*** is gonna break loose.

    • My uncle used to do it with his arms: just by holding one out looking longer than the other. He only tried to fool us for a moment though – Uncle Jerry is far more committed to the cause.

  5. Reminds me of the many stories, mostly humorous, told by my father and his brother regarding my uncle’s leg. Well done (with all the words). 🙂

    • Thanks Bill. I’m intrigued about your uncle’s leg now – do you know what actually happened, or only the mythology?

      • I think my uncle Gene lost his leg below the knee in a coal mine accident (but I’m not 100% sure) when he was young. He may have been a breaker boy. After that he was an elevator/lift operator (when we had those) for years. A tragic accident, but that did not stop them from making jokes (like people apologizing for stepping on his foot). Weird. But it was what it was.

  6. After a hip replacement my reet leeg is shorter than me leeft

  7. I liked how you captured a child’s imagination and how much they enjoyed their version of a family hero. The joke played on the younger cousins was hilarious.

  8. Sometimes a child get so inspired by their elders, they copy their shortcomings too. Well done you captured it very well

  9. Uncle Jerry’s an appealing character, as is the narrator. However, I mostly love how you’ve underplayed Uncle Jerry’s true story with the ‘medal for valour’ reference that Mum ‘lets slip’. Very good.

  10. Fun story :). Grandpa sounds like a real character!

  11. We love our heroes.
    Great when they are from our family.

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