Faberhills Park is 40 years old and the giant sprawling raintrees are testament to the age of the estate. The lovely trees are tall, with wide umbrella-shaped canopies that crisscrossed onto neighbouring trees. Nestled at the centre of the trunks are lovely birdnest ferns, and cuscading below are staghorn and ribbon ferns. Birds, like woodpeckers are often seen pecking away.
Every evening, the boys play soccer there. Last week, someone kicked the ball so hard it flew up and got stuck on the canopy. To dislodge the ball, they threw Aaron’s sandal up. The sandal stayed up, but on a neighbour tree. Next they tried to kicked another ball to dislodge the sandal. That ball landed very close, barely a meter away from the sandal. You would think they’d give up by now. No, someone found another ball and tried again. By the end of the evening when Aaron limped home with one sandal to tell me, there were four soccer balls, one water-polo ball (that cost $90) and one sandle stuck up on the canopy.
Coincidentally, my mother had received a sms on Typhoon warning in the Philippines that night and that to be careful of the 220km/s wind. I laughed at her face and got a scolding. Secretly though, I hope it would be true, then all the junks that had collected on the rain trees would hopefully be blown down. No such luck.
The boys were bored. All the balls belonging to different households in Faberhills were up on the trees for two days. I went to see if there was anything I could do. I had not wanted to help initially, as I felt the boys should be resourceful enough, but I knew it was futile for anyone of us. The trees were too tall.
So the following day, I decided to call NParks to see if they could help. I imagine they would have cranes to saw the branches. The operator heard my story and I could tell he was quite amused. Call us immediately the next time when ONE ball goes up. Thomas, from NPark’s contractor called me an hour later and we made an appointment to meet at the park. While waiting for him, I wondered aloud to Andreas if I’d be billed for it, and how much this is going to cost me. How much would a crane rental cost per hour?
Thomas arrived promptly and his worker dismentled a ladder from the van. I pointed the positions to him and he shook his head. He would need an experience climber to get those down. I gave him our address and he promised to return the balls if he manages to get it the next day.
Four days passed and three balls disappeared from the trees, leaving one ball and sandal still up. One ball had dropped and we took it home, but two other soccer balls and the waterpolo balls had disappeared. They must have dropped and been kept by someone. Mom said that it would be impossible to find them. I disagreed, as most neighbours who visit the park would know where to look for the boys if they should find the balls. I smsed Thomas to check if his workers had kept the balls. He checked and replied that he would be returning two balls they had found, and that he would try to get the other ball and sandal down.
Yesterday, he returned the one soccer ball and the waterpolo ball.
The boys were back yesterday, happily playing.
Thank you Thomas!