Our Find by Jo Femia
One afternoon my brother and I were playing with friends at the back of their house, in the wide alleyway that ran along past the houses. One of us spotted a curved metal object projecting just above the ground. It was smooth and rounded. There was a scrabble as several of us rushed to the spot and started digging around it with fingers, sticks and pieces of old flowerpot. As it was gradually uncovered, to our thrill and surprise we discovered what looked like an old bomb, with its curved nose and sleek body. There was writing on it, not in English, so we assumed it must be German. It looked small as bombs went, though no one had any experience of such a weapon, no doubt we had seen pictures of them.
To us, the war seemed a long time ago (this was in the late nineteen fifties), and if the bomb hadn't exploded when it was dropped, our logic was that it must be a dud and safe to play with, which we did, for part of the afternoon. It seemed well-designed in the sense that when thrown the nose always hit the ground first! We played war games until a sense of danger suddenly dawned upon us. What if the bomb was live?
Later that day, my mum hearing of our find, decided to telephone the police. Two officers arrived, cleared us out of the alleyway and very carefully lifted and carried the bomb between them, to their waiting van.
We never heard whether it was live, but if it had been we were all extremely lucky.