Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Good Scout
by Sally Tilbury
He was squeaky clean. He smelled of soap, strong soap, almost like naphtha. It was obvious his haircut was the homemade "sit on the kitchen stool and do not move" type. His hair had been slapped with Dad's ancient pomade. I could see the tracks of the comb through his hair, his ears scrubbed red. What a joy it was to sit in the pew behind him and this row of precious boys.
Expert moms had ironed those uniforms. Those pants had not just been pulled from the rumbling dryer. They had knife-sharp pleats. This great-grandmother did not know there were any expert ironers left.
What a lift in these worrisome world-weary times, the rock-throwing, the hate. He represented something decent to me, something outdoorsy, young and hopeful. It made me so proud to sit in back of his troop.
Each of the boys was to receive an award this day. It would be a document with a gold star on it. Each of the boys had created a book of writings about Scouting, its virtues, principles, kindness to others, peace and love in the world. I prayed their lives might be fruitful and peaceful.
It was only when he turned around that I noticed the fresh black eye.
Sally Tilbury is not new to writing, but is only now just beginning to publish. She lives in Santa Rosa, CA.
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