The boys play soccer with the neighbours at the Faberhills Park daily. This is a beautiful park, with matured giant raintrees scattered around. There are about ten boys, and Aaron is the youngest, with the oldest boy at twenty, although with him in the army, we hardly see him recently. With so many boys from different households playing, I’m surprised that only Aaron owns a ball. When Aaron is not there, the boys will ring my mother’s doorbell to borrow the ball. Over the years, I have replaced many balls – one was ran over by a car, but mostly the balls deteriorated through wear and tear from the cobbler stone ground that they play on.
Last week, a boy kicked the ball so high that it flew into the birdnest fern perched on the crook of a raintree. The boys tried to get it but sad to say, none of the boys know how to climb a tree. So for many days, there was no ball to play, until they decided to use Andreas’ punctured old ball yesterday.
Yesterday, after our jog, Mike and I decided to explore if there were any chance of getting the ball. We met a couple, who had recently moved into Faberhills, who had also just finished their jog. Seeing our predicament, the man decided to help, and unfortunately he hadn’t grown up in a kampong either. He tried to climb the tree, and the boys gave helpful comments like, don’t step on that fern, – it can’t hold your weight, – oh, we tried that and it does not work. I suggested getting a ladder and he told me if I can get one, he can get the ball down. And so, Mike ran home and drove back with a 6 ft ladder.
The man climbed to the top of the ladder, took a foothold, and pulled himself up. Suddenly, a cat from nowhere jumped down from the tree, startled by the commotion. By now, there was an audience and they wondered if we were trying to rescue the cat. The man cleared the ferns and threw the ball down. Everyone applauded. He looked down and realised he may have a problem coming down. Call 995, a man is stuck on a tree.
We all laughed.
The man managed to come down, all dirty with twigs and leaves stuck on his shirt. I regretted not getting his name but i hope to see him and his girlfriend around again.
This man’s spontaneity of offering his help reminded me of another incident. At a recent sing-along concert, my friend, sitting two levels away, tried to open a bottle of coke for her friend but the screw cap couldn’t barge. So, she sought Mike’s help. Mike couldn’t do it either and my brother took over and despite using his wife’s shirt for friction, he didn’t succeed. A man behind us offered to help. We turned around and saw his huge Arnold Schwarzenegger’s type muscles. He took the bottle and with some effort, managed to twist open the cap. Everyone around applauded and he said, if I can’t do it, very pai seh right?
Well, big or small deed, they were our heros for the day.