Walking near my house this evening in the early “fall-back” darkness, I came upon a hand-drawn hopscotch court on the sidewalk. Remember how you used to draw these with coloured chalk on long summer nights? One square followed by two squares side by side, then back to one square and so on—stacked so you alternate hopping on one foot, then on two, then on one, like this.
The squares are numbered and there’s a big bubble at the top, which we always left blank, but sometimes it was labeled “Heaven” and the first square was labeled “Earth.” You know, just to inject a little mortal fear into the hearts of babes. You threw your stone on the allotted number, hopped through, flipped around at the top, and came back down.
This court looked like the ones I remembered, carefully if lopsidedly drawn in a child’s hand—except I noticed that the bottom was labeled “Hop for your life.” Wow, I thought, creative! I hopped. And Chicklets, guess what? The top square was labeled, still in the shaky child’s hand? DEATH. Oooh! Happy Hallowe’en!