Alas, there was not one future Nat on railway bridge when the train came along…

You wouldn't want to be caught fishing from this bridge.

A four-year-old girl has learned the hard way one of life’s lessons in longevity: if you want to live to a ripe old age, don’t play on railway bridges – or go fishing from them.

Not unless you can run faster than any train that might happen along or be able to survive any leap you might make to safety.

The lass in question, not much beyond being just a toddler, was young and obviously innocent.

The trouble in which she landed herself is understandable.

Not so her 11-year-old sister, with a few more years’ experience of the rough-and-tumble of life under her belt.

The older girl has stronger survival skills and seems to have learned there’s not much sense in being a dead hero (or heroine).

This may be an unduly harsh judgement, but there’s no evidence in a report at Stuff today that she faltered to give any thought to her younger sister’s plight.

No. She jumped.

Thus she gave priority to taking care of herself, leaving others – although ill-equipped to do so, in the case of the four-year-old – to fend for themselves as best they could.

This makes the older lass a promising candidate for joining the ACT Party when she is old enough. They share a similar philosophy on the survival of the fittest.

Alf makes these musings after reading the good news that –

Two young sisters are expected to make a full recovery after one was hit by a train and the other jumped from the rail bridge they were on.

The pair were playing unsupervised with three other children on the bridge south of Radcliffe Rd, in Christchurch’s Northwood suburb, when the northbound train came on to the bridge just before 4pm yesterday. This was despite security fencing and warning signs in the area prohibiting access.


Alf assumes the older sister (but not the younger one, necessarily) could read the warning signs and had a bloody good idea of what the security fencing was intended to do.

She was dim-witted enough to take no notice and to drag others into danger with her.

This should make her leadership material, after she has signed up with ACT.

The four-year-old, it transpires, was struck by the front right of the train’s cattle shunt and thrown from the tracks.

She landed close to her less severely injured sister.

The younger girl suffered serious injuries, including to her head.

The sisters were taken to Christchurch Hospital, where the 4-year-old remains in a serious but stable condition this morning. Both were expected to make a full recovery.

What else do we learn from this nasty experience on a railway bridge?

Oh yes.

Police said the train driver saw the children on the tracks from a distance and repeatedly sounded warnings, while activating emergency braking systems.

An 11-year-old jumped six or seven metres to the ground below. Her 4-year-old sister remained on the tracks as the train approached, despite another child’s efforts to get her clear.

It becomes very apparent, at this juncture, that another child did try to help the younger sister.

At first glimpse this helpful child looks like a good candidate for membership of the National Party simply by virtue of being helpful, which is a strong trait among we Nats.

But don’t forget that he or she also (presumably) ignored the warning signs and therefore must be dim-witted, too.

That suggests, alas, membership of Labour or the Greens.

Oh, and here’s something interesting.

It is understood the children were fishing when the incident happened.

Wonder if they had the appropriate licences or quota or whatever.

Or did they have a customary entitlement to fish in the river?

Maybe there were future Maori Party or Mana Party prospects among the kids on the bridge.

And a final thought:

St John Ambulance staff administered first-aid to the sisters.

And Stuff reports a St Ambulance spokesman as having “indicated” both sister had been on the bridge.

Dunno what “indicated” means in this circumstance. What did the bugger actually say???

But here’s the important thing –

The other children managed to get clear of the tracks and the bridge.

They obviously had good survival skills as well as being bloody lucky not to get hurt.

They also displayed a disregard for the authority behind the warnings signs and security fencing.

Perhaps this makes them ideal candidates for joining Winston Peters.


Mrs Grumble has alerted Alf to the mischief that might be done in the headline to this post by not considering the attributes of the train driver. The driver saw the danger from a distance – which means he has good vision – and repeatedly sounded warnings while activating emergency braking systems, a bit like Bill English dealing with the Budget deficit. So yes, it looks like he’s a Nat or is shaping up as a solid prospect to become one.


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