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ucme's avatar

What were some acts of [derring do] you may have performed as a child?

Asked by ucme (46523points) June 29th, 2011

[Derring do] Noun
1 : Valiant deeds in desperate times
2 : Brave & adventurous, often reckless actions.

So yeah, any examples you can recall where you did something above & beyond the call of duty, as it were. Whether it was a recreational activity that pushed the limits. Maybe you jumped off a roof or scaled a high wall. Or possibly an act done to preserve/protect a friend or family member in peril. You may begin, please form an orderly queue =0}

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22 Answers

MilkyWay's avatar

I learned to ride a heavy motorbike at the age of 13 by myself.
I borrowed my friends brother’s bike. Amazingly, I only got away with a few scratches. And now I can ride ride a motorbike :D
I once put my hand in the panther cage at the zoo, when I was around 6 . Thank goodness it was sleeping.
I also used to climb the kitchen roof (slanted) from my bedroom window. It was dangerous, but somehow I never fell. I used to love sitting there watching the birds in the trees and watching the sun go down behind the factory roof.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Jumped off the back of the garage roof, with a towel around neck, as a “Caped Crusader”, I landed in big dirt pile drop was only 5 feet down.

Mother did not want any “Caped Crusaders”

Mariah's avatar

When I was very young, probably under 5, my older sister and I had a game called Plecostomus. This was when we would put a beanbag chair at the bottom of the stairs, and jump onto it from maybe the third or fourth stair up, while yelling “PLECOSTOMUS!!” Yeah, I don’t know.

My sister went upstairs to go to the bathroom, and I decided to do something really impressive so I could brag to her when she got back. I decided to jump onto the beanbag from the very top stair. I had this mental image of myself arching beautifully past the entire staircase and landing softly in the beanbag.

Ohhhhh how my tailbone hurt. Ow ow ow ow ow

rebbel's avatar

I was in the bar I regularly visit where a little girl was screaming and windmilling because there was a bumblebee ‘attacking’ her.
I told her that bumblebees are sweet harmless animals and to prove my point I grabbed it and walked it outside to release it.
I’m sure that girl will love them too from then on.

KateTheGreat's avatar

When I was 2 years old, I was in my family’s horse farm and I had a pair of wire cutters. There was a radio plugged in and I attempted to cut the cord while it was still on.

That same year, I tried to jump off of a mountaintop.

Then, when I was 3 I crossed a highway by myself. Almost got killed!

rebbel's avatar

Hrmm, i misunderstood the question, or didn’t i?

ucme's avatar

@rebbel Noble as your act of kindness was, tales from your childhood would be better yes.
If you don’t mind of course ;¬}

Jeruba's avatar

There was lots of tree climbing, jumping off of things wearing a cape to make me fly (your mother’s silk scarves would have worked better than a towel, @Tropical_Willie), walking along the edge of things, making tightropes and trapezes and kid-powered vehicles, leaping creeks and sliding down little waterfalls, and other such adventures. Braving the rumored quicksand of the marshes to run along secret paths was a favorite routine thrill. I never thought of these feats as derring-do; they were just all in a day’s work as a kid running free in the unencumbered and nonparanoid 1950s.

One slightly riskier venture that I recall was sliding down the roof of my uncle’s barn in Vermont when I was about eight. The roof was fairly steep where it sloped beneath the hayloft window and pretty far off the ground, or so it seemed. Portions of it were covered with tin down to the edge, where there was a strip of tar paper. My older boy cousins showed me how they could slide down it right to the edge, and the tar paper would stop them just in time. Of course I had to try it too. However, after several exciting slides, I picked the wrong spot to slide down—it was slick, shiny tin all the way to the edge. I sailed right off—and into a stacked pile of manure that was taller than I was.

For a moment I thought my life was over. I can still remember the amazement of that instant in the air.

I never knew if my cousins planned that, but I don’t think they did.

My aunt delivered a bath with a vigorous scrubbing but no scolding. The boys, after all, were hers.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I jumped off a swing in mid-air that was about 30 feet or so off the ground when I was 7.

YARNLADY's avatar

The most dangerous thing I ever did was dig a cave in the side of a hill. Two children died when they did that, and their cave collapsed.

starsofeight's avatar

In early grade school, I liked to wrap a wet wash cloth around a finger, and stick that finger into a wall outlet. I could hold out for about five seconds.

Coloma's avatar

I was the youngest exotic dancer of all time. Doing a dance in my Go Go boots and hula skirt on my bed for the neighbor boys who came into my backyard to retrieve their baseball that flew over the fence. I don’t think they even remembered the ball after my performance. I was about 10. lol

I also was a tomboy and once brought home a giant garter snake that threw up a semi-digested bull frog on my mothers foot. Nix the ” can I keep it? ” plea.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

When we were pretty little, my eldest cousins and I would take turns seeing who could jump the furthest off our grandmother’s big ol’ shed.

I thought I was so cool for gently petting our neighbor’s vicious Chow through the fence and just knew that I had a way with animals, because he never attacked me. Until the day he attacked me. Fucking dog gave me scars.

When I was 13, I eliminated a giant tarantula and all her babies with a garden hoe, to protect two younger kids who were playing in our back yard while their parents were inside our house.

sliceswiththings's avatar

This is a sad one, and it belongs to a friend of mine. When my friend was 12, she was swimming in the ocean with her father. Her father started feeling funny, so he asked my friend to pull him to shore on the boogie board. He was having a heart attack, and he died. She is still haunted by the fact that if she had pulled him in faster, he would have lived.

woodcutter's avatar

When I was maybe 15 I dug a 40mm anti tank or anti aircraft projectile, that was sticking point out, of a pine tree. My friend and I showed it to his dad who was an Army officer in ‘Nam. He said give that to me now and threw it out in the middle of a really deep pond. He said it was a dud round but it still was live. I really wanted to shine it up and keep it on my desk. I mean, I really had plans for that, I worked like hell to get it out of that tree, it was mine. I was careful not to smack it with the hammer very many times to mar it up too much….............. it was mine

Bryburn's avatar

When I was 12 or 13, a small child was drowning in 6 ft of water. Before the lifeguard could even get to him I swam to him and carried him to the shallow end of the pool. Short and simple.

zenvelo's avatar

The day I graduated 8th grade I jumped off a neighbor’s roof. I sprained my ankle and couldn’t dance at the graduation dance.

When I was 14 I climbed Tower Peak at the north end of Yosemite. There was one ledge to cross just below the summit that had a 600 foot drop. It was butt-clenchingly scary.

disenchanted_poisongirl's avatar

When I was little, I’d hide in people’s closets, just to scare them or make them think I had left the house.

When I was like 6 or 7, I climbed on my grandmother’s closet, because I wanted to see the room from up there. But I fell. my legs hurt when I remember it.

When I was 4, I saw a friend of mine climbing a tree. I was soooo jealous. I really wanted to do the same, so, I tried to climb that—-fucking—- tree. I didn’t fall, but one of my shoes did, and my dress wasn’t that white anymore.

And (after years and years of climbing and falling, hiding in closets and scaring my grandmother) this year (14), I did something I’d never done before. There was something on the balcony, and that something wouldn’t let me open the shutters. That way, I couldn’t get out and see what had happened. So, I went to the kitchen, climbed on the sink, and got out. That’s why I like windows. They’re useful. Anyway, that thing on the balcony was just a carton. I took it and put it someplace else, and got in my room again. It was fun.

ucme's avatar

Cheers folks good stuff!
As for myself, well I loved jumping from high places. Rooftops, usually the school in the summer holidays. I jumped out of my bedroom window on numerous occasions, into the garden. My mother was not annoyed at all…...yeah right!
I always wanted to be a stuntman when I was a kid, never turned out that way, but I sure had fun practising.


I foolishly allowed my older brother to shoot me in the back with a BB gun. I was only about 6 or so. My brother dared me, and I agreed. I wore three heavy parka coats to protect myself, but even that didn’t prevent the BBs from hurting me badly. They stung so bad I cried and cried. Looking back now, that was a very stupid thing to do.

woodcutter's avatar

whats a big brother for


@woodcutter We were like the Trailer Park boys back then. Lol.

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