I don’t really remember this happening, but they say that when my uncle Herm’s family came over to see our presents, as they were coming through the front door I got down into a four-point
stance, growled, “Hut! Hut! Hut!” and charged ahead with my brand-new helmet.
They say she
bawled bloody murder and refused to come into the house, so Uncle Herm finally had to drag his whole family away before they even had a chance to take their coats off.
look with amazement
He was walking like he owned the place, both hands in his pockets, sort of swaying lah-dee-dah with each step. Strollllll-ing. Strolling and
gawking at the houses and whistling a happy little dorky tune like some Sneezy or Snoozy or whatever their names are.
being very thin
And he wore a button, a big one. It covered about half his chest. Which wasn’t that hard since his chest was so
a treeless grassy plain
"...My dad’s an artist. He makes birds out of glass and ceramics and wood and metal. He can make any kind of bird you can name, but he’s the best in the world at
an artifact made of clay baked at a high temperature
"...My dad’s an artist. He makes birds out of glass and
ceramics and wood and metal. He can make any kind of bird you can name, but he’s the best in the world at prairie chickens.”
snickered. “What kind of junk is that to say on a button?”
small and insignificant
I still couldn’t believe it. It was no bigger than a garage. In fact, I found out since then that it really was a garage once, until somebody changed it into the world’s
walk with great difficulty
staggered backward across his front yard, which was the size of a bathroom mat, and flopped onto his back.
conceal one's true motives from
I had him so
bamboozled he didn’t know which way was up.
postpone doing what one should be doing
“We do what we want,” I said. I was
stalling for time.
utter a harsh abrupt scream
“A Quaker?” I
screeched. “What’s a Quaker?” The only Quaker I had ever heard of was Quaker Oats cereal.
express through a scornful smile
He still didn’t move. This was crazy. Whoever heard of a kid who didn’t shoot back? Then all of a sudden I got it. “Hah!” I
sneered. “Now I know what you’re doing. You’re trying to trick me.”
the act of bending low with the limbs close to the body
I backed up a couple of steps, went into a
crouch, swung my gun arm up, straight out stiff, left hand clamping right wrist, like I saw on TV.
moody and melancholic
“That’s not it,” he said. He had on the
glum monkey face again.
a groove or furrow
“A Conestoga wagon. It’s just like the one my great-great-great-grandfather Webb went out to North Dakota in. My great-grandfather made it for me. He said there’s a place in North Dakota where you can still see the
ruts in the ground from all the wagon trains.”
make a harsh, abrupt noise
move or force in an effort to get something open
He ran to a bookcase filled with books and grabbed an old pretzel tin. He
pried off the lid.
deserving or inciting compassion
pitiful could you get?
swell or protrude outwards
Webb gawked at his mother. His eyes
showing a sense of shame
“You didn’t really forget, did you, son?” the father said.
sheepish. “I guess not.”
an army unit consisting of soldiers who fight on foot
“I just remembered my Mazooka. It’s a combination machine gun and bazooka. First you wipe out all the
infantry with the machine gun, then you go after the tanks. It has an armor-piercing shell. Sets the tank on fire. Roasts the guys inside like they’re marshmallows.”
break into a conversation
“And we go places,” the father
Along around third grade they finally stopped
pestering me, so I could stop
pestering my dad.
tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement
Sometimes, when I went past the garage-house, I almost
run away in a headlong rush
The bell rang. The door opened. The cattle
a state of commotion and noise and confusion
By now the whole place was in an
draw back, as with fear or pain
He looked at me. “I’m not surprised you’re the first one to show up here this year, Coogan. I hear you’re a loose cannon.” He leaned forward, his hand smacked the desk, we
flinched, he smiled.
practice play between two teams
And then the quarterback, Brill, showed up with a football, and you know we had to get a
scrimmage going right there in the hallway.
poke or thrust abruptly
All of a sudden Deluca
jabs me hard with his elbow.