An Accident on Ice (1956)

One day in late November we had a heavy frost and all the puddles from previous rainfalls were frozen over.  After school, my friends from the House of Rocky Docky and I had fun sliding on the ice. We had competitions trying to slide the farthest and fastest on the frozen tracks.

threekidsonice_crane 2

When it was my turn I took a long and fast run at the icy patch.  I didn’t notice a boy coming almost at the same time from behind  me. Before I could react, he bumped into me. I fell hard hands first onto the ice.  A bit dazed from the shock I got up.  A group of kids gathered around me and they all seemed to be looking at my hand.  “How can you turn your hand around so far?”  a little boy asked.  I was puzzled and asked him what he meant.  But when I looked down I saw my hand completely turned around and hanging limply.  I tried to will myself to move it back, but there was no response.    It just stayed in that strange  position.  I didn’t have any pain, but I was getting concerned.  It dawned on me that something  was terribly wrong.   My friend Margit gently put her arm around me and said, “Let’s go to your mom”.   All the other children followed us like in a procession.

When my mother opened the door and saw me looking pale and shocked, cradling my right arm, surrounded by my worried looking friends, she knew something was wrong.  As  soon as she noticed my limp, contorted hand she panicked.  Without warning she grabbed it and tried to set it right.  I almost fainted with pain.  Horrified my friends left.

My mother, however, quickly regained her senses and gently put my arm in a sling. Then she walked me to the nearest doctor in town, which took about half an hour.   My readers have to remember that at that time we had neither telephone nor car.

Although it was close to supper time, the doctor was still in his office. He gave me a sedative, set my broken wrist and  put my arm in a cast. It was quite late and dark when my mom and I  finally went home. I felt lightheaded as if in a dream. Relieved that my ordeal was over,  I enjoyed the walk under the sparkling night sky with my mom gently holding me by my left hand and murmuring comforting words.


Initially I found it difficult to function without the use of my right hand.  But before long, my left hand took over and I even started to write with it. The teachers were quite forgiving when my homework looked a bit more  messy than usual.

After six weeks the cast came off and my arm looked white and thin for a while.  But it regained its strength quickly.

The doctor’s prediction that I would get arthritis in my wrist later on in life miraculously did not come true after more than 50 years.