As a little boy, there was nothing I liked better than Sunday afternoons at my grandfather's farm in western Pennsylvania. Surrounded by miles of winding stonewalls, the house and barn provided endless hours of fun for a city kid like me. I was used to parlors neat as a pin that seemed to whisper, "Not to be touched!"
I can still remember one afternoon when I was eight years old. Since my first visit to the farm, I'd wanted more than anything to be allowed to climb the stonewalls surrounding the property. My parents would never approve. The walls were old; some stones were missing, others loose and crumbling. Still, my yearning to scramble across those walls grew so strong that finally. One spring afternoon, I summoned all my courage and entered the living room, where the adults had gathered after dinner.
"I, uh, I want to climb the stonewalls," I said hesitantly. Everyone looked up. "Can I climb the stonewalls?" Instantly a chorus went up from the women in the room. "Heavens, no!" they cried in dismay. "You'll hurt yourself!" I wasn't too disappointed; the response was just as I'd expected. But before I could leave the room, I was stopped by my grandfather' s booming voice. "Now hold on just a minute," I heard him say, "Let the boy climb the stonewalls. He has to learn to