Back in the 1920s, my father’s brother, Donny, was killed at the age of seven in an accident of some kind. Exactly what happened has never been clear.
My father told many versions of this story. He used to say that an older boy had been playing with his little brother, and there was a rope around Donny’s waist. Donny was playing the part of the pony, and the older boy was riding him. In one version of the story, the older boy pulled the rope, and the little boy crashed into the curb and died almost instantaneously. In another version, Donny broke free and ran into the street, where he was hit and killed. Sometimes the older boy was my father; sometimes it wasn’t.