I Dare You

Danielle and Desdamona sat in the front yard resting, they’d been playing for hours, they were tired and wondering when it was time to go in for a feed.

Being in the country their front yard was not like most youngens from the city get to play in, theirs was huge and had lots of entertaining things that the neighbourhood kids seemed to love.

There was a massively tall fort like structure made of some kind of painted timbers. Coming off one side of the fort was a set of monkey bars, so called because kids (and some adults) instantly start acting like monkeys whenever they touch one of the bars. There was a vertical hanging rope with knots tied in it hanging from an outstretched wooden frame and a ladder to get to each of the three levels. But the most popular feature of the fort always seemed to be the two multicoloured plastic tube slides that came from the top level and twisted their way to the ground. All the neighbourhood kids seems to love those things.

Danielle and Desdamona just wished they were big enough to play on the fort, but alas they were not so their time was spent mostly playing in the sand pit on the bottom level or chasing each other around the yard.

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Thanks to their tender young ages they didn’t always remember what fear was, they didn’t need too, their yard was a safe place. Sure there was threats in their own front yard, animals that loved to chase, animals that loves to swoop and animals that loved to make a loud noise. Most of the animals in their beautiful country surrounds had some way of scaring away perceived threats that was just nature, but it was not something that sat at the forefront of either Danielle or Desdamona’s minds.

One of the other things that made their country dwelling different to many city houses was that in the country they didn’t need high wooden or concrete fences. In the city fences were often built to keep people out as much as they were to keeps kids in, however in the country while fences served a similar purpose, they were constructed differently. Fences in the country were often made of wire, sometimes barbed and sometimes twisted into small interlocking squares, but all made for the same purpose, to keep animals in.

The big advantage in the country, as far as Danielle and Desdamona were concerned, was that because of their wire construction the fences in the country didn’t stop them looking at the world outside their own yard. From the front yard they could see all manner of things they knew they were not allowed to visit.

There was a dirt road, full of pot holes, with shallow culvert drains on either side which ran directly in front of their home. That road although quiet most of the time, occasionally had idiots in cars screaming past at breakneck speeds. Those idiots, actually all cars needed to be avoided at all costs and the road was definitely not somewhere they were allowed to play.

Along the grassed area just beyond the fence there was several large gum trees which in the wind were quiet scary as limbs threatened to fall off, but in the sun provided the yard with valuable cooling shade. Another thing seen quiet often in the country and not in the city which made Danielle and Desdamona feel at home was the creatively crafted old milk drum which served as a letter box and was often filled by someone leaning out the window of a slow moving car.

However the best part about being able to see through the fences from where they played was that they could also see, and wave to, their friends Simone and Sally from across the road when they were out playing in their own yard. Although they were good friends they also knew they were not allowed to cross the road by themselves.

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That was until one day, the day Danielle decided she was bored in her own yard, bored with watching the big kids play on the fort, bored with playing in her own sand pit and she was going to play with Simone.

After much noise, much procrastination and what appeared to be much daring from Desdamona, daring she knew she shouldn’t be doing, Danielle decided she was going to do it, she was going to play with her friend across the road. So off she went.

Wandering down the stone covered driveway Danielle walked like she didn’t have a care in the world. Crossing the property boundary and past the gate she had some trepidation but she refused to let it show, she wanted to play in her friend’s yard and that was that.

Stopping at the edge of the road she knew enough about roads to look both ways and check for traffic. Even though she could see no cars the fear she was feeling forced her to look twice before making another move. Satisfying herself that the road was indeed clear of traffic she bolted forward, across the dirt and didn’t stop until she was safely on the grassed area in front of Simone’s yard.

Breathing a sigh of relief Danielle then looked back at where she’d come from. Desdamona was standing at the gate with a relieved look on her face and seemingly wondering if she could pull off the same stunt, but that no longer worried Danielle because she’d achieved what she set out to do. Feeling happy Danielle wandered toward the open gate of Simone’s yard ready for an afternoon of play and fun in her new surrounds.

And that answers the age old question (albeit it in 1000 words) as to why the chicken crossed the road.