Continued from yesterday, my dad Hal Thompson is sharing some of his childhood stories with us. Dad is a missionary and pastor. You can find his ministry blogs at Teaching Truth Today or Enseñando las Escrituras. I have always loved listening to my Dad tell stories from his childhood and am thrilled to share them with you. His words below:
Dad climbed over the log to examine my leg. I could see by the expression on his face he was thinking, “Oh, what do I do now?” I had sawed through my pants and cut an inch and a half gash in my leg, and I remember thinking it was wide enough to lay a shell pencil in. (*See explanation of a shell pencil below.) Dad looked at me, and I could see he was trying to figure out what to do. He said, “We can’t walk back to headquarters now—you would bleed to death before we got there.” At that, I thought I was going to die. He cut part of his shirt off and used it for a tourniquet. He said, “We will just rest here until your leg quits bleeding.”
I don’t know how long we waited, but finally the bleeding subsided, and it took us two hours to walk back to headquarters. Dad wanted me to walk slowly, but when I got close enough to the house where anyone could see me, I began to walk as if my leg were broken. My mother acted as if she thought I was dying. Actually, I liked it that she was making a big fuss because then I was pretty sure I would be okay. Dad said if we went to the doctor, he wouldn’t do anything anyhow, and we could just make sure to keep the cut clean for a few days. The worse thing about keeping it clean was that twice a day they poured alcohol on it. It burned like fire! I begged them not to pour any more alcohol on me, and insisted they were making it worse. The good thing was that I got to miss school for a few days. The worst part about this whole story to me at the time was not the cut or the scar. I had cut my pants, and they had to be patched. I probably had only two or three pairs of pants, and oh, I did not want to wear those patched pants!
* Shell pencil. As I told this story to my wife, she didn’t know what a shell pencil was and thought probably some other readers would not know either. As I am writing, I have a shell pencil in my hand. On the shell is written: “John Clay & Company. Stockyards. Fort Worth, Texas. Phones: Office MA 4-3153. Cattle Yds. MA 4-1300, Sheep Yds. MA 4-1611.” The pencil is kept inside a shell, which is about five inches long and maybe 1/3 inches wide. It looks like it is made of cream-colored plastic, but it must be celluloid as we didn’t have plastic then. Inside the shell is a regular wooden pencil with an eraser. The pencil was about three inches long to start with, but you can tell it has been sharpened several times with a knife. My dad always carried a shell pencil and a Case stock knife, which was about the same length.