was instinct, like geese flying north. We went to Vivian, Louisiana each summer
where Sam and I would team up with our cousins, Junior and Clyde, and of course,
always get into mischief. We couldn’t avoid it, for that, too, was instinct. It
sort of followed us around like a cloud. I don’t mean anything really bad, just
a few harmless pranks. We probably came by the name, “The Fearsome Four,” honestly.
I recall one night we were sitting outside the house, joined by two adult
cousins. I can’t remember who got the idea first, but one of us decided to toss
a pebble up on the roof when the adults weren’t looking. Then we pretended to
be just as startled as they were.
Soon, we became quite skilled at our
little game. The adults were convinced someone was lurking just out of sight.
We were instructed to scatter out and to find the culprit. That made things even
better because, back in the shadows, we could cast stones with no fear of getting
caught. After a reasonable length of time, we returned from the darkness and reported
that there was no one out there. It took all our willpower to keep straight faces.
Our little ploy had worked so well that the adults were now completely baffled
as to where the bombardment was coming from. They never did learn our secret,
and for years they repeated the story of “The Mysterious Falling Rocks.”
A lifetime later, I came across a story in a magazine concerning some strange
happenings in a house somewhere. The story described how objects would suddenly
fly around the room with no visible means of propulsion. That article seemed to
breed more of the same, and soon magazines were filled with similar stories. There
was a thread connecting all these unexplained events. There were always children
present. Supposedly, the adolescents seemed to attract the spirits.
remembered how easy it was, many years before, for “The Fearsome Four” to propel
objects without being seen. As I read these spine tingling tales of those ghostly
activities, I felt assured that, somewhere, there was a smug little kid laughing
at the gullible adults.