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The Rabbit Grass Patch

In the beginning of the 6th grade, I was a bit of a loner. That all changed later on in the year, but that's another story.

Rashaad Sampson used to pick on me out in the school yard. I would find a quiet spot in the back corner of the playground when I retired from the Bars and would sit on a very soft patch of grass I called Rabbit Grass, since it felt to me like a bunny's back. Eventually I made a friend though, and Megan McKinley would sit under the same tree with me.

Kristen Osterthalen had written a play that the class would be performing later on that year. Inspired by her and my own desire to write, Megan and I decided to write a play of our own. We would sit in the back of the playground on that patch of Rabbit Grass and write. We would talk for the entire recess about what we wanted to write into our play.

Rashaad found us back there one day and asked what we were doing. Neither of us wanted to answer, so we ignored him for a while. Eventually he was the reason Megan and I developed our own version of sign language. We had hand signals for everything. We even created our own written language thanks to a class assignment that blossomed for us. For years I could read and write fluently in that private language. Though I would struggle with a couple of the letters now, I still have most of the memorized.

Rashaad started picking handfuls of my Rabbit Grass and throwing them at us. He was tired of being ignored. He chanted at us about what big nerds we were to have our own language. He teased us until we couldn't ignore him anymore. Back then I never stood up for myself (some things never change) so Megan did. As I sat there picking my precious grass out of my long hair, Megan stood up and told Rashaad off. She told him that he needed to leave us alone, we weren't bothering him, and surely a kid of 5'10 in the 6th grade had better things to do with his time, like pick apples without a ladder.

What Rashaad didn't know was that secretly I had a crush on him. I had long since forgotten about Mike from the 5th grade after playing Blind Man's Bluff with him. I was far more crushed than I let on.

When I got home from school that day I started to tell my Mom all about how Rashaad had thrown grass at me. I was so upset that I started to cry and couldn't get the word "grass" to come out of my mouth through the sobs.

" Rashaad was so mean to me! He.... (sob) was thr... (sob) thr... throwing .... (sob) Grass at me!"

My mother started to laugh at me, to which I cried harder. It wasn't funny at all! He had really hurt my very delicate feelings! Still, she saw humor in there somewhere. Her next remark really blew me away.

"Don't worry, Honey... when he gets to know you better, he'll throw rocks!"

1 comment:

  1. Another WINNER! That line last made me laugh, good ol' mom.



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