During that first season, I learned about coloring books, and naps and cookies, and how you don’t run while playing a trumpet because falling down can hurt you. I was warned not to eat the castor beans growing beside the house.
In just a few months, Mrs. Miller seems to have learned her dayschool lesson. The dayschool was closed. No more herd of children in her home and backyard.
But my mother made some special arrangement, and though the mob of children had gone, still every day I walked to Mrs. Miller’s, and played with her sons Rex and Mike, until their father came home from work. He’d swing them up and down. He didn’t swing me up and down, which seemed a great disappointment. Then I went home.
That summer, the vacant lot beside their house had grown weeds as high as us boys. A man on a tractor came and mowed the weeds, and a vast torrent of grasshoppers came flying from the devastation.
Quickly we grabbed jars, and captured hundreds of them.
There was then the question of what to do with them, but Rex, the older one, knew just what to do. And so we went around the neighborhood to houses where nobody was home. Doors were generally left unlocked, so it was simple to open the door, shake out a jar full of grasshoppers, and then leave.
I suppose our belief was that, this way, everybody could share our joy.
Sure, that’s what we thought.