A while ago, Ben had a remote control aeroplane. On the first day he flew it, I had a go and lost it for him [photoblog.com]. Now against our best advice he's bought himself a new one. He took it out today and in less than five minutes managed to get it stuck at the top of the tallest tree in our local park.
This post is dedicated to the very helpful people who helped him get it back. First there is my next door neighbour (hardly a stranger really) who leant us a far bigger set of step ladders than I have. Then there was a young lad in the park who tried to climb the tree, but who succeeded in getting little further than this elephant. There's also a group of smaller kids who leant him their basketball for him to try and knock the plane out. Unfortunately, none of this worked.
Then as we were about to give up and go, a man who had been playing football with two very little kids came over, at the same time as a dog walker offered to lend us some even bigger ladders. The footballer, said he'd get it down no trouble and proceeded to climb the tree; still in his football boots. He said that at school his nickname was monkey man, because he could climb anything. And so he did. Within a minute he was up near the top of the tree swinging and bouncing on some very thin looking branches to dislodge the plane.
Then in no time at all he brought it down. As we all walked back to the car park a woman approached. The two little kids who were with Monkey Man rushed to here excitedly, ??You should have seen what Uncle Matt done?. They were so proud of him, it was a treat to see.
Thanks to everyone who helped, or who offered to. It was heartwarming to see how many people did.
The Altruism of Strangers