"No eggs, so I decided to use the quick 'Tarzan' route down. This particular tree had a long thick branch, which started about 25 feet up the tree and sloped down to within about 10 feet of the ground. Jutting out from the branch, parallel to the ground and like a series of ladder rungs, were numerous smaller branches. A well-practised route down the tree was to swing, chimpanzee style, from branch to branch, until we were low enough to drop off to the ground. On this particular occasion, however, the fine co-ordination between hand and eye was having a rest and I let go of one branch without enough speed to reach the next. The result was a fifteen-foot fall, landing on my back at the foot of the tree. The memory of the fall is quite vivid even today. I lay on my back unable to speak and seemingly unable to breathe. Peter, who was still propped up against the trunk of the tree, crawled over to me and was asking if I was all right. I tried to say, " I think I've broken my back", but no words came. I lay there two or three minutes watching Peter panic until my regular breathing returned."
Copyright - John Peirson 2001