Every couple of years when my family went home to Los Angeles, my cousins and I would become re-acquainted, frenetically developing all over again a frenzied short-term relationship, playing as hard as we could to make up for lost time. With so many hysterical kids running around loose, someone was bound to get hurt.

It wasn’t a matter of if, but when, and I’m sure our parents experienced some level of anxiety, holding their collective breath as they waited for the bloodbath. We never disappointed them, because our repertoire included falling headfirst out of trees and jumping from unsafe heights with our tongues between our teeth. But every once in a while, one of the cousins would get a little more creative.

We were playing outside, hopping like popping pistons around our sweating grandfather as he cut the grass in the front yard. Finished with the task, he ambled towards the detached garage at the rear of the house, towing the manual mower behind him, the blades lazily flat-topping the long grass stripe between the two concrete strips of the driveway.

As the rest of us kids watched in horrified fascination, my ever-curious little cousin, Arthur, sprang into a crouching run, chasing after the mower with his index finger extended towards the rusty blades, because he “wanted to see if they were sharp.”

During the drive to the hospital, the weeping and confused little boy had time to ponder that, yes indeedy, the blades were sharp. Thankfully, that old mower was moving slowly and the only thing Arthur actually lost that day was his 6-year-old dignity.

One comment on “Arthur”

  1. We were all gooky little idiots at that age. I remember the joys of riding my broomstick horse up and down the drive at Chevy Chase.
    Brava, Susan

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