Dr. Thomas Phalen, child psychologist, was asked, "How long does adolescence last?" And he famously replied, "For a while." That is because we all grow up at different rates. Some seem mature at 12, and others are quite immature at 20. I was in the latter group, as the story I'm about to tell reveals.
When I was about 19, I discovered making stained glass windows as a hobby, that I gradually turned into my first business. One day, I was working on a window in the back of the garage, which I converted into my stained glass shop. Hearing some commotion out front on the street, I moved towards the open garage door to see what was going on.
Looking out, I quickly gathered in the facts. The irksome twin 10-year-old boys, who lived across the street to the right, had been walking up the street when they came across a dead crow laying on the asphalt. They were going nuts over their discovery and didn't know what to do in the excitement of finding such a treasure. Yes, 10-year-old boys would view such a find as a treasure, that much I know for sure.
They were so excited that they were literally running around in circles while crying out to each other. They quickly decided that they should go get their friend from up the street to come see what they had found. And off they ran like wild ponies towards his house.
That's when the adolescent in me came out. I decided to make their triumphant return a bit more exciting for them.
I hurried down the driveway towards the crow and picked it up, while the twins were up the street gathering their friend. Originally, my plan was just to take it, but I decided it would be infinitely more fun to place it gently in the small palm tree next to the street, just a few feet from where it currently lay. When I ran back into the garage, the crow was in the tree, at what I guessed would be about ten-year-old-boy eye level, facing the street.
A few minutes later, while waiting in the depths of the garage, I heard a cacophony of excited voices hurriedly approaching from up the street. When they arrived, their voices abruptly stopped and then quickly restarted in shock that the dead bird that had just been right there and now was gone, with many proclamations of "We swear!"
Then all at once, they saw it, looking at them, and all three 10-year-old boys started screaming and ran off, again like a small herd of wild ponies. And to my late adolescent boy's mind, it couldn't get any better than that.