William Michaelian

Poems, Notes, and Drawings

A Mob of Two

Saint that I am, I also shot a bullfrog. But I don’t remember if it was before or after I shot the sparrow. When I shot the sparrow, I was alone. When I shot the bullfrog, I was with the boy who lived down the road on the farm adjacent to ours. We both shot the bullfrog. I remember being sickened by it at the time. I knew it was wrong and cruel. I wouldn’t have done it if I’d been alone. I loved frogs. We were a mob of two. We say we love — maybe this is how one learns what love really is. Why should a boy in elementary school already need to learn such a lesson? What has he seen, what has he heard, what example has he followed, that it’s possible for him at such an early age to harm another living thing, and afterward to go home to lunch or supper as if he’d only been out playing and nothing had happened at all? How does it come to pass that he has a gun in his hand? The answers are obvious and don’t need to be stated. And yet, “boys will be boys.” And adults will be adults. These days, bullets are flying all over town.


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Categories: Daybook

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