I was a special child in many ways: Along with toe nails, I grew foot nails.
One day, I was playing with my friend Karen in the woods when I stepped on one of the old nails left over from Camp Shanks, broken-down wooden World War II barracks.
It came out the top of my foot, through my sneaker.
It hurt a LOT. We were pretty far away from home. Karen ran to get Mr. B., a friend’s dad we knew who lived nearby. He came up into the woods and picked me up and carried me all the way back home. I was crying a lot of the way.
My dad pulled the nail out using pliers, and then my mom took me to the doctor for a tetanus shot (you can get tetanus from any outdoors puncture wound–not just from rusty metal).
The next time I stepped on a Camp Shanks nail, it hurt a lot, too, but that time, I hopped home myself by leaning on my friend Karen to help me. I didn’t need another tetanus shot, because the first one was still good.
The next time I stepped on a Camp Shanks nail, I didn’t even know it. When I came home that day from playing and took off my sneaker, the bottom of my sock was rust-colored with blood, and a littler spot on the top was rusty, too, where the nail had poked out. I didn’t even bother to tell my parents that time.
No one else I knew ever stepped on a nail.
I have concluded that my feet are very powerful magnets.