A cautionary tale – a sort of sequel to ‘The fall’.
To climb a ladder, it makes sense to take your time. Get ready
By making sure the ground is firm and that your ladder’s steady.
And when you’ve done that, you can climb – but you must do it right
And keep your weight close to the rungs and hold on very tight.
So that was what I did one day to reach an old flat roof.
(Well, since its stones had come unstuck, it wasn’t weatherproof.)
I noticed that my ladder was wobbling, so I found
A strip of wood to fit between the short leg and the ground.
That made it steady. Up I went to clear the blocked-up gutter
Of lots of rolled-off tarry stones, and leaves and other clutter.
I’d carried up a bucket, so it took no time at all
To fill and carry down again. And no, I didn’t fall!
But then I thought, “How can I stop more stones from rolling free
And causing trouble once again? I know,” I thought, “I’ll see
If I can find a strip of wood to fit, I could attach it
To where the stones roll off the roof which, if one rolled, would catch it.
I looked around for such a strip. I found one just the size,
And took it up the ladder. Then . . . I got a big surprise:
The ladder tilted to the right and I fell to the left.
I landed with a hefty blow that took away my breath.
In A&E, they used their scans to diagnose my plight:
“Five ribs are broken,” they explained, “but they should mend all right.”
(In case you haven’t twigged it, the strip of wood I used
Was what had propped the ladder up – no wonder I was bruised!)
The moral of this story is: to keep your focus clear,
And when a job expands, make sure you do not interfere
With what had kept you safe before; so add, not take away.
Then you’ll survive and, what is more, your ribs will be ok!