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Have you ever gotten burned, or touched by flames? I have.
It was a cool, summer morning. It was sunny and there was a little wisp of clouds here and there. The air smelled of pine, cherry, oak, and maple trees. I opened the window to my room, looked out, and saw my seven year old brother playing in the backyard.
I dragged my eight year old body out of bed, and sleepily walked down the stairs. I went down to our make-shift kitchen in the guest room. Our real kitchen was being remodeled, so we made a make-shift kitchen in the guest room downstairs. I flopped down on the table and picked up a bowl and a box of corn pops. I then thought to myself, “I want some hash browns to go with my cereal.” We didn’t have a griddle or a stove, so my mom and I decided it was best to use the outside grill instead.
I went outside to the grill. It wouldn’t light up. I was very angry because this just wasn’t my morning. I had bumped my head on my dresser, caught my finger in the door, had gotten gum stuck in my hair, dropped my model plane and broke it, and cut myself while cutting some bananas. Anyway, I got out the lighter, and turned the gas up to medium on one of the burners so I could light it. I was just about to light the grill when my mother came outside.
“Ian, you are supposed to turn the gas on high for all of the burners.”
“But mom!” I whined. “Dad tought me how to light it this way, and he always lights the grill right.”
“Well, your father’s not here, and so you should do it my way,” she said. “And that’s final.” She then waltzed back into the house. I grunted and dispersed my anger. I turned up the gas for all of the burners, and carefully pointed the lighter into the grill.
“Click.” The lighter had lit, and a split second later, “Whoosh.” A fireball erupted for a split second, singing my eyebrows and shirt. I wasn’t burned because my clothes had not caught on fire.
“Are you okay?!” my mother yelled as she ran outside the house.
“Yes mother, and thank you for the advice.” I said sarcastically. I then marched into the house. This was not my day.
Another story happened this summer. I was at my friend’s birthday party. We had just had some cake and I was going to leave. His pet poodle ran up to me and put her front paws on my shoulders.
“And goodbye to you too.” I said as I walked out to my car.
“See you at church, Ian V.”
“See ya, Ian G.”
I rode home to dinner. My dad had told me to go take a shower because I stunk. As I was taking off my shirt, I saw a brown dot on my left shoulder. I thought it was just a dirt splotch at first. I didn’t really pay attention to it. I looked again as I was going to get into the shower. I tried to flick it off, but it would not fly off.
“Dad!” I yelled as I put on my clothes and ran downstairs.
“What?” he said questionably.
“I think I have a tick on my right shoulder.”
“Let me see.” He said as he put on his glasses. He looked for a moment at my left shoulder blade. He then turned back and looked at me with great concern. “You’ve got a tick all right, and I’m going to have to burn it off.
“Great” I said with immense sarcasm.
I grimaced as my father lit up a match and held it to the tick.
“Ahh!” I saw a little black dot on my skin. It was almost over. I looked at my skin and the tick was gone.
Obviously, I have been hurt by fire in many ways. Some were intentional, some were not. But all of them showed me two things: fire can be extremely dangerous when handled incorrectly, and that it is good to learn from your mistakes.