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Dwarves and catapults. Sounds like a reality TV concept from hell, perfect for this Halloween, but it almost knocked off the head of a family member featured on Little People, Big World.
Nine-year-old Jacob Roloff, a full-size boy whose parents and older brother are dwarves, underwent surgery for a dented skull after a 25-foot medieval trebuchet (or catapult) misfired on the family farm over the weekend. Viewers of the TLC series might remember back in April when the family built the 25-foot wooden war weapon for the cameras.
The catapult is used to hurl pumpkins, not dwarves (this is TLC, not Fox, after all).
Jacob was cocking the Pythonesque device when its 2000-pound counterweight slammed into his head and repeatedly smashed into Mike Detjen, a local engineer who was loading the contraption. Mike needed 200 stitches.
The incident was not a stunt for the TV series (though the catapult was), but it has sent neighbors in the pastoral farming area over the edge. They’re already sick and tired of gridlocked traffic and all the attention that the little reality TV stars have been attracting. More than 30,000 people showed up this fall to buy pumpkins at the Roloff family farm. They also toured the family’s western town, three-story treehouse and pirate ship.
The catapult accident occurred after the Roloffs had shut down the pumpkin patch for the season. They were just heaving pumpkins for the fun of it. The ancient siege weapons have become popular at farms like the Roloffs’ that mix agriculture and entertainment. Jacob’s dad Matt says the boy’s loaded the catapult before, and he’s not sure why it misfired.