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Childhood Memories

It's a dangerous night to be walking outside. Not for me, but for the tiny little frogs that dot the gravel road. I swish my overpowered Surefire flashlight across the dark gravel trying to avoid stepping on them. When I get close they freeze in their tracks, making them harder to see. This would be a good reflex if I was trying to eat them, but it's working against them tonight.

I'm walking down to the beach for old times' sake. It's 2am and I'm in Milton, Vermont. Calling it a beach is generous. Shale rocks densely scattered over green outcroppings of weeds lead up to murky water. There are a few docks and a few boats pulled up out of the water. They're not locked to anything - they're just sitting there.

I crouch, pick up one of the little green frogs, and watch him slowly climb around my wrist as I rotate it. I probably haven't touched a frog in ten years. Playing with frogs used to be my favorite thing to do when I was in Vermont. I liked to catch them in a bucket and then empty it into the nearby creek and watch them swim away. Sometimes we'd throw them in the air so that they'd land in the lake. That seems a bit inhumane now, but we didn't know better back then. We were kids. I lower my arm to the ground and nudge the frog off of my wrist.


On The Thoughtful Young Djedi from Bermuda

[Note: I wrote this essay when I was about 16.]

I would be hard pressed to remember a period of time when my younger brother and I were not fighting or arguing. I know many people say that it is common for siblings to fuss and fight with each other, but I think my brother and I took that notion to a whole new level. In my younger years I can remember the both of us fighting over the slightest things, and as we grew older this did not change. The outcomes of our tussles were undesirable for both of us, as we both would get into trouble, but nonetheless we were persistent in our wars against each other (to the distress of our parents). My mother insisted she would have a heart-attack if it continued.

Ironically enough, although we fought a lot we were still very close. Our hostilities towards each other never damaged our brotherly bond and we were always the closest of friends. My brother would always be the first one to find the ‘Playstation’ which my parents would hide and we would alternatively keep a lookout when they were coming home so we could play. Taking into account our numerous fights and quarrels, we never could be separated and to this day remain very close friends and our bond could not be stronger. I feel this is why my brother has influenced me in a significant way. Our relationship stretches farther than flesh and blood, and through our differences he has taught me how to forgive and that life is too short to hold petty grudges.

Although outwardly we don’t always seem to get along, inwardly I admire him even though I would never tell him. My brother is amazingly determined and never gives up in anything that he does. On the football pitch he is the smallest and not very athletic looking but he fights the hardest and is one of the best soccer players that I know. He has taught me that if you try hard you can get where you want to go and in many aspects I am jealous of his tenacity. He always upholds his integrity and honesty and never gives into peer pressure. He is both Head Boy and House Captain at his school and for this he does get a little flak, but he always stands up for himself and never lets anyone get the better of him. For this I admire his character and although I have picked on him all my life he continues to stick by with the utmost loyalty, which is something I respect and try to manipulate in my own character.

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