One time I was riding a pony down the side of the mountain between my Granny Brennan's house and Meade's house next door. (Junior Meade was my Granny Brennan's sister's, Erma Lee, husband). Between the two houses was a fairly large strawberry patch. I was riding bareback with no saddle or bridle.
The pony decided that it wanted to eat some strawberries. When it put it's head down to eat the strawberries I slid right down it's neck and over it's head and uncerimoniously flopped on down the mountain. It put a great dent in my delusions of equine horsemanship.
Another time we were playing on the giant log up on the flat. The log was a wonderful place to play. We played school and used it for a balance beam and many a game of King of the Mountain. If I remember correctly (and I think I do) the boys would pee off one end of the log and the girls would pee off the other.
One time I decided to climb a little tree next to the giant log. When I say little tree I should probably say sapling. I shimmied up the tree probably about 6 or 8 feet from the big log which meant I was probably about 15 feet in the air - when the sapling broke! Of course it fell down hill and the mountain was very steep which probably doubled the height of my fall.
My aunts and uncles dusted me off and quieted my tears. Not out of concern but because they knew they would get into trouble if I went back home crying. That night I can remember having one of the worst MIGRAINES of my life. I cried myself to sleep in my mommy's arms holding my "Pokey". (remember Gumby and Pokey)
The greatest fall I ever had was at the park. We used to swing on grapevines. We weren't allowed to do this until my uncles had tested them for strength. We found a cable somebody had strung off of a tree about 40 foot up the side of the mountain. (Keep in mind these mountains are almost straight up and down) There was a creek underneath and then nothing but hard ground. We had a ball on that cable and we sought it out everytime we went to the park.
One day I was swinging on it for the umpteenth time. I fell. I don't know how or why but I fell and I dropped all the way to the DRY creekbed beneath me. I landed on my chin. To this day I can feel the bulb of cartilage that balled up in my chin that day. It was a cheap but very dangerous way to get a chin implant! I did not die so everything was fine.
That is how we gaged danger when I was a kid. If we did not die then it was fine.