Updated: Feb 3
Before I start this little tale, I need to pass on one background detail. When I was a child, my grandmother told me I was fearless. Fearless! That’s something that every child ought to be told because I drew on that many times growing up. Well, if I’m fearless, I can do this, or I can do that, and I’m not afraid. So I think it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, and I will forever be grateful to Grandma Reese for saying that!
Now to the story.
There were three special friends I hung out with in elementary school. We thought of ourselves as a “club.” Their names were Diana, Judy, and Ruth Ann. I don’t know where they are now. But back then, in fifth and sixth grade, we were like a set of four, doing everything we could together.
There were two other girls at Jefferson School, Sandra and her friend Janie. You never saw one without the other. They were in a different classroom, so we didn’t know them very well, but I knew Sandra because her family went to my church.
One day Sandra and her sidekick friend came to us all excited. They had seen a Martian rock fall from the sky like a meteor, land in Sandra’s backyard, and hit so hard it made a crater! They thought it was so awesome that they hadn’t touched it yet. After all, it might be radioactive, being from Mars and all. But they wanted me, Diana, Judy, and Ruth Ann to see it. So the four of us walked to Sandra’s house after school to see this amazing phenomenon.
There it was, a bright green rock lying in a shallow hole in the ground. We stared at it for a while. It was about six inches long, maybe three inches at its widest part, jagged on both ends, and it looked like it might have layers, sort of like slate. Hmm. Sort of like slate.
No one made a move. But there I was, fearless, after all. So I stepped forward and reached toward it, knowing it might … might … be radioactive. I leaned over and gingerly picked it up out of its crater. It didn’t feel radioactive. It felt surprisingly cold for a Martian rock (as if any of us knew what a Martian rock should feel like).
I decided to scratch the surface with my fingernail. Finally, some green color peeled off. And then I made my pronouncement: “That’s not a Martian rock. That’s painted.”
I’m pretty sure that was the last time I was invited to Sandra’s house.
The only other time I even talked to her was when she told me she could sell me the recipe for a candy bar for 5 cents. It turned out to be the empty wrapper of a 5-cent candy bar with a list of ingredients on it.
I wonder where Sandra is now.