I don´t know what brought this memory to the surface today but I thought it would be amusing to share it.
I must have been about six at the time, and my brother seven. We lived in a place called Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro in a house on a hill. We had a large garden which sloped down to the road and on the other side of our hedge was a vacant plot of land covered in undergrowth and trees, with a narrow path running down the side of the hedge.
My brother and I were out playing on this plot one day when we found a cylindrical object about two foot long and a few inches wide. Intrigued, we decided to take it home to play with. I remember it was quite heavy and we struggled with it, one at each end and finally managed to drag it into our garden.
One end of the object came to a point and had some holes in, so my brother decided to experiment poking some lighted matches in the holes to see what happened. He fetched a box of matches from the kitchen and had just lit the first one when my mother arrived on the scene. She nearly had a fit as she recognised our toy as an unexploded shell (she had been in the RAF in the war). My father was at work so she summoned the gardener and asked him to carefully get rid of the dangerous object. We had not been in Brazil that long and unfortunately her Portuguese was not very fluent so something was lost in translation. The gardener picked the shell up, went through the gate to the vacant plot of land and tossed it down the narrow path by the hedge where it bounced and rolled its way down the hill and out of sight. My brother and I stood watching all this while the gardener dusted his hands and my mother had hysterics expecting the shell to blow up any minute.
What on earth a shell was doing there we never knew, but at least it didn´t explode and I believe my father got rid of it somehow when he came home from work. Why I remembered this story today I have no idea.