Archive | 11:05 pm

Jeremy the Crow, Part III

8 Feb

[Continued from here.]

Each box was numbered and Jeremy knew from watching the children that you were supposed to go from one number to the next. Gingerly, he hopped onto square 1. Square 2 was right beside it. “How can it hurt to try?” he thought, and before he knew it, he had number 2 under his feet. “This is fun!” he said to himself, as he quickly hopped to 3.

4, 5 and 6 later, he had only two squares left. 7 and 8 were a piece of cake, and soon he was hopping back in full gusto, pebble in his beak like he had seen the children hold. So thrilled was he at his achievement that he almost swallowed the pebble and remembered to spit it out only just in time. He bounced all the way home, brimming over with news for Mamacita, who listened with a kind smile on her face.

After that evening, there was no stopping Jeremy. Each day, he’d wait for the children to disperse and hop onto his territory to claim his squares. On some days, he’d hop backward for fun. On others, he’d close his eyes. Even though he did it twenty times each evening, Jeremy never tired of this delightful game that he called Hopparoo. It was on precisely one such evening that Jeremy was hopping along the squares, this time backwards and with his eyes closed, that he heard a commotion.

Opening his eyes with mild irritation, he realized he was surrounded by children, all gaping and pointing and smiling wonderingly at him. “The crow plays hopscotch!” they were saying to each other in amazement. The shy bird watched as if in a dream. He, Jeremy, wasn’t being mocked or laughed at. On the contrary, he could see delight and respect on the children’s faces and he wasn’t afraid of them. Showing off a little, he hurtled from one square to another, doing a pirouette at the end and blushing at the resounding applause.

From that day on, the children would look out for Jeremy and ask him to join in their games. He rode on the back of bicycles and brought back their marbles in his beak, but his favorite sport remained Hopparoo. Mamacita was so proud of him and he now had many friends. He was bolder, happier and had the best legs ever seen on a crow. And so it came to be that Jeremy M. Hoppola became the neighborhood hopscotch champion, loved and feted by the residents of Glen Gate Street. He learned that it’s okay to be different, as long as you’re happy and not hurting anybody. And that being all the same isn’t that much fun anyway. So if you see a crow with the shiniest black feathers, bright raisin eyes and a lopsided gait hopping up to you, you’ll know who it is, won’t you?

~The End~

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