I Was A Dumb Child

In two days I have managed to watch 3 seasons of Storm Chasers on Netflix. I can’t explain why I enjoy it so much. Its just a reality television show about a bunch of guys chasing weather. But I find it fascinating. It also reminded me of something.

When I was around 7 or 8 I was terrified of hurricanes. To the point of spending hours deciding where in my house I would hide if a hurricane ever hit. But there was one tiny problem, as the saying goes: “In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire (and Scotland), hurricanes hardly ever happen.”

This also reminded me of another couple of things that I was scared of as a child. Namely aliens, wolves and dinosaurs. The first one can be explained easily. To a young child with an active imagination a combine harvester with its lights on could possibly look like an alien spacecraft. But it is the last two that makes me embarrassed of my 7 year old self.

I have only ever watched one episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I have forgotten the plot of this episode but I know it involved wolves. Somehow my fear of the wolves on Buffy turned into a fear of the wolves at Edinburgh zoo. I was positive that these wolves at Edinburgh zoo (even though I am not sure there are wolves at Edinburgh zoo) would somehow manage to escape, swim across the Firth of Fourth and then travel another 50 miles just to terrorise me.

I can see a hill out my window. 500 years ago my ancestors enjoyed burning witches at the top of that hill. 1500 years before that the Romans built a fort at the top of it. A couple of million years before that it was a volcano. So it made sense to my 7 year old brain that there could possibly be dinosaurs buried under that hill which could possible come back to life and go on a Jurassic Park type rampage across eastern Scotland.

The one thing I can’t understand is why my parents never told me that all my fears were unfounded. I imagine that they did know about them. So why then did they not tell me that aliens are not real, animals can’t escape Edinburgh Zoo and dinosaurs definitely cannot come back to life. Because just knowing this would have saved me so many nights worrying about it. Fortunately my 23 year old self now knows better and is no longer afraid of aliens, wolves or dinosaurs.

Though if I do happen to end up in the American midwest and see a bunch of guys chasing after a storm, I will sure as hell be going in the opposite direction.


10 Responses to “I Was A Dumb Child”

  1. helenrj

    I love storms! I grew up in Tornado Alley (Oklahoma) and spent most of my childhood in a cellar (think Oz and Dorothy). I also have a fear of werewolves…can not watch movies about them at all. I’m right with ya…and I’m..uh…older.

  2. laurachickenboots

    I think sometimes parents get an amusement value out of children’s fears. They may not appreciate how terribly real those fears are to a child. I have been on both ends now and hope I took my children’s fears more seriously than my parents did mine.

  3. Elisa Preston

    I liked your bunny trail here. I wonder if your parents tried to tell you but you were just so certain of your fears being founded, it didn’t matter? Either way, at least you know what you know at 23 instead of 83! 🙂

  4. sh

    As a child I was properly scared of daleks… I’m 34 and the sight of one still makes me shudder! Some things can’t be explained, but they make us who we are I guess 🙂

  5. Louise

    I don’t think that’s dumb.
    I was a reckless child. I roamed the North East coast and climbed crumbly cliffs without ropes, did stupid dares on outlying rocks against the incoming tide. There are places I won’t walk in the dark now that would never have bothered me as a teenager.
    I do wonder where you picked up that fear though. Animals escaping from Edinburgh Zoo I can understand but the foundation for the fear of hurricanes escapes me – perhaps there was a strong storm when you were very young?

  6. edgar62

    Last time I was at Edinburgh Zoo, there were wolves. There were also cute little penguins so one sort of balanced the other out. Aliens – well I’m sort of with Fox Mulder on this – “I want to believe” As for Hurricanes – well in this corner of the universe we call them Cyclones and South Australia holds the middle ground here. Cyclones happen in Western Australia and Queensland,opposites ends, not in South Australia. Not too sure about dinosaurs though.

  7. Magpiemakingdo

    Ahhhh childhood fears. Gotta love/hate them. Kid you sounds like kid me. I saw one episode of Lassie where someone got bit by a rattlesnake and spent the next several years terrified that rattlesnakes were going to crawl into my bed at night/were hiding behind things in my closet/were coiled up in those boots in the corner/etc…

    Our area doesn’t even have rattlesnakes.


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