Hawaiian Punch……. An essay by William Marshall

My Uncle Russell’s grandkids were running around in the yard. They were here, they were there. There were bunches of them. If they were older and in the city, you would have said that they were gangs. They seemed to be extremists. One minute they would be laughing, the next they would be crying. None were older than ten.

We were checking the fishponds to make sure none of the fish had jumped out. There must have been 10,000 catfish in those little ponds. They just boiled up, slurping the surface when the feeder went off, spraying dog food like pellets all over the water. I was on the back of the golf cart enjoying the ride.

About that time, one of Uncle Russell’s granddaughters came galloping by, it was actually the whole pack but only she stopped. She was red faced and half out of breath. She ran up to Uncle Russell like he was a bad guy in the particular scene that she was playing out. He played right along. He balled up his fist and looked real mean. He was playing with his granddaughter. He shook his fist at her. He said, “You want a Hawaiian Punch?” She giggled and ran off.

Later in the day, we were back on the porch and the gang had joined us ever so briefly as they roamed the property just like my cousins and I did when we were young. I watched that little red faced girl as she interacted with her cousin. She was playing still, giggling. She balled up her fist at her other girl cousin. Both too young to really hurt each other. She said with all seriousness, “Want some Kool-Aid?”

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