Blowing Grass by Dorman Nelson

Whether you are 10, 30, or 70, everybody at one time or another has done the razzberry with their lips and tongue….and no doubt some brother or sister or “uncle” taught the baby as well, much to the chagrin of the mother. I know my mom was not responsive in a way I appreciated to the “ol’razzberry’, but my buddies and I at school sure laughed over it. Kept us entertained for years. Then the old geezer of 40 taught us to do duck calls with our lips and hands…..then the more complicated whistles with the fingers and mouth, or with an acorn top; and my favorite, blowing grass between the thumbs. Is this a forgotten pastime? I remember lazy days down at the fishing hole sitting on the bank grabbing a handful of grass and picking out a nice supple wide one and fitting it between my thumbs and blowing. Made a lot of noise. The other day in my wanderings I ran into some mom friends of mine and their six or seven collective children. The young’uns were building a fort up on the hill behind their house so I went up and lent a hand, since I had many years experience with ‘forts’. While we took a breather on that sunny slope I picked up a piece of that hillside grass and started on some great noise. The kids looked at me with awe….How did you do that? What is that? Can I do it? So I had them all pluck their own and showed them how to place it just right between their young thumbs and all of them caught the hang of it. Their moms were down below having some iced tea….they called up wondering what in the world was going on. I’ll leave you with this…..    Blowing grass on the hillsidemeans something different now than thirty years ago.It was actually that.
sticking a blade of grass between yourthumbs and blowing……. We blew ducks and chickensAnd crying rabbitsOwls and pigeonsAnd hawklike habits.   Creaky doorsand screeching tireshowling dogs and cats’ desires…. We drew forth the screams of lifefrom those tough but fragile blades  and the moms could never understand it.

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Categories: Issue 2 - Spring 2012, Periodicals, Short Story | Tags: | Leave a comment

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