He was about 5 and tall for his age, so maybe people expected more than they should have from him. He was a really good kid, who had been trained to do as he was told and not talk back. On occasion, however, stubbornness would show through.
His grandmother had an extensive collection of seashells, which she used in crafts; or not. Mostly stored away for future generations. In case there was a worldwide shortage of seashells. As a matter of fact, she had quite an extensive collection of a lot of things: driftwood, grasses, sea oats, buttons, fabric, clothes, pictures…their house and attic were populated by neatly packed and boxed collections of the aforementioned items. GranMommy, as she was affectionately called, was the packrat/craft queen of the entire city. She could make centerpieces for banquets, Christmas decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, Easter displays and anything else she could formulate from cast off or otherwise found material. They didn’t have much money, but she always had the flexibility and ingenuity to keep the kids entertained.
So, the grandfolk had taken the kids to Galveston, this 5 year old boy and his sister of about 8, to go beachcombing to reinforce the seashell supply. They scoured the sand for sand dollars, the ultimate currency the Gulf offered. In short supply most of the time, whole sand dollars were cause to shout in triumph. The other legal tender found usually included olive shells, ones they called “parrot shells” (because they reminded them of parrot heads), angel wings, spiral snail shells and various others.
After a while of bending to the task of collecting the sandy treasures, the kids needed a break. There was the bleach bottle filled with tap water under the seat in the Dodge Dart, so drink was not an issue. The workers had a need for a sweet and nutty treat to satisfy the ache inside. That was when GranMommy produced the Snickers bar. How they loved the chocolaty, caramel and peanut goodness. There was only one problem. There appeared to be only one. GranDaddy had the remedy. He pulled out his pocket knife and cut the blessed treasure in two.
The lad was artistic from early on and had a compulsion to see everything intact. To him, everything that existed needed to be visually complete; whole. So when he saw the Snickers bar bisected, it offended his sense of entirety on a very deep, personal level. How could he participate in the maiming of such a beautiful thing? He couldn’t be expected to draw half a picture, how could he be expected to eat half a Snickers bar? In a nearly unconscious move, he put the dreaded, defiled, mutilated candy bar away from his sight. He threw it to the sand.
It was that seemingly defiant move, the apparent “If-I-Can’t-Have-The-WHOLE-Snickers-Bar-I-Don’t-Want-ANY-of-the-Snickers-Bar” that pushed poor GranDaddy over the edge for that moment. In a single move, he swatted the lad on the posterior.
His sister ate her half in silence.