My brother was a brat. He was four years older than me and I think his greatest joy in life was teasing me and getting me into trouble. But one day the tables turned on him and he was the one in trouble.

He loved to tinker with old batteries, burnt out light bulbs and wires, always inventing things.

He acquired an old car battery which still had a little life in it from Mr. Clark who owned the one and only gas station in our small town and he got a brilliant idea.

Back in the early forties everyone in our town had an outhouse. We had a barn with a hay loft a short distance from our outhouse and my brother took the battery up to the hay loft. Then he found a roll of copper wire which he strung from the hay loft to the outhouse. He then put the wire around a large roofing tack and hammered the tack through a metal can lid on to the one seat of the outhouse. Then he went back to the hay loft to lay in wait for me.

Nature gave me a call and I headed for the outhouse. He gave me time to get comfortable, then he zapped me.

My first thought, being deathly afraid of snakes, was that one got me. I went screaming from the outhouse.

My grandmother heard the screams and came running out of the house to meet me.

"What on earth is wrong Child?" she asked.

"A snake bit me! A snake bit me!" I screamed.

It was about then that we heard my brothers hysterical laughter coming from the hay loft.

" Johnny Dee, you get yourself down here right this instant. What have you done?" asked my grandmother.

My brother came down, still laughing and told us what he had done.

" Well young man, that is not funny, my grandmother said, that is no joke. You scared your poor sister to death and me as well. Now you go take that contraption off the toilet seat and then you go get that battery and you dig a hole just as deep as you can dig and you bury the whole mess."

My brother begged and pleaded to no avail. He dug the hole and buried it all.

My grandmother knew it would hurt him much more not to have his trinkets than a spanking ever would. She was a wise woman and my brother learned a good lesson.

A golden memory from childhood,

  By Lora Cox 2001

This story and all the Brat series, except the memorial page, have been published.

I received an email from my brother after he read my story. I am posting it below because he has a few changes he remembers better than I do.


I just have some technical advice. It was an old radio battery, not a car battery. A car battery won't shock you. Yes, I knew that even then. But the old radio battery was ninety volts. But the ninety volts had little or no amps behind it so I knew it wouldn't hurt you.

However it would burn a twenty five watt light bulb. You were in safe hands all the time. But grandma didn't know that. If you remember, the copper wire that I strung up to the out house was very fine. I had removed it from an old loud speaker, as we called them in those days. It was a winding for the Electro magnet. We don't use Electro magnets on speakers any more. They are permanently magnetized. The fine copper wire would not carry enough amps to burn you. A car battery will burn you. 

I will love you forever, John


SEE! He admits it all. I will say though, that after all the years of teasing me, he turned out to be the best brother any girl could ever have. 

And I will love you forever too, John