I have borderline traumatic memory of this trip. Amongst the authentic buildings, crafts and costumed actors, the venue also offers a traditional stockade, which guests can choose to try if they wish.
Most of you are familiar with the stockade in which your head and hands are secured in a wooden restraint (see the example below) . It was a pretty simple matter to stick my head and hands through the stockade and slip them out again.
|A traditional stockade.|
In my questionable wisdom, as I wandered on my own around Colonial Williamsburg on a late afternoon, I decided to try out the ankle stockade.
Somehow, I got stuck.
I was a little guy at the time, and though it seems as if anyone could slide their feet right out of the restraint, I couldn't. Perhaps, being small, my foot was at an odd angle.
I just knew I was stuck.
I tried to reach forward and lift up the stockade, but my arms were too short. I was afraid that if I leaned forward too much, I would fall off the small bench I was sitting on and somehow break my ankles.
At first, I just sat there and pondered my predicament. A couple of people walked by, but I pretended as if everything was fine.
|This is the same ankle stockade I tried|
out in Colonial Williamburg. Borrowed
from another blog.
Ultimately, though, I had no choice. I had to gather my courage and call out to a total stranger and admit I was trapped. To make matters worse, the stranger I had to call on was a costumed actor. He kind of looked like Ben Franklin, I thought.
He stared at first, unsure what I was trying to say. Apparently, just saying, "I'm stuck" wasn't enough for ol' Ben. He stared as if I were speaking another language entirely.
I pointed at the stocks, "Could you let me out?"
It was as if he'd heard his cue. Instantly, he was in character, chattering with a Colonial English accent and skittering over to me, "Why certainly, young man! You've done your time!"
I was the only one there to see his performance. I waited patiently, but I really wanted to ask him, "is this really necessary?"
He lifted the stockade and I was free.
I mumbled a quick "thank you" and rushed off to find my parents, and leaving ol' Ben to fly a kite.