The Cats Pajamas | Page 8 of 105

Author: Ray Bradbury | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 1788 Views | Add a Review

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his fingers at the ground.

“Man,” he said aloud, “that boy is crazy!”

WHEN WALTER WAS a very little boy he’d tried to reverse things. Teacher at school had pointed to a picture of a fish, and said:

“Notice how colorless and bleached this fish is from swimming deep in Mammoth Cave for generations. It is blind and needs no seeing organs, and


That same afternoon, years ago, Walter had rushed home from school and eagerly hid himself upstairs in Mr. Hampden’s, the caretaker’s, attic. Outside, the hot Alabama sun beat down. In the mothball darkness, Walter crouched, heard his heart drum. A mouse rustled across the dirty plankings.

He had it all figured out. White man working in the sun turned black.

Black boy hiding in the dark, turn white. Why, sure! It was reasonable, wasn’t it? If one thing happened one way, then the other thing would happen its own way, wouldn’t it?

He stayed in that attic until hunger brought him down the stairs.

It was night. The stars shone.

He stared at his hands.

They were still brown.

But just wait until morning! This didn’t count! You couldn’t see the change at night, no, sir! Just wait, just wait! Sucking in his breath, he ran the rest of the way down the steps of the old house and hurried to his mama’s shack down in the grove and sneaked into bed, keeping his hands in his pockets, keeping his eyes shut. Thinking hard as he went to sleep.

In the morning he awoke and a cage of light from the one small widow enclosed him.

His very dark arms and hands lay upon the tattered quilt, unchanged.

He let out a great sigh, and buried his face in his pillow.

WALTER WAS DRAWN back to the boardwalk each afternoon, always careful to give the hot dog proprietor and his grill a wide go-around.

A great thing was happening, thought Walter. A great change, a progression. He would watch the details of this dying summer, and it would give him much to think of. He would try to understand the summer all the way to the end of it. Autumn rose in a tidal wave, poised over him, ready to drop, suspended.

Bill and Walter talked each day, and afternoons passed, and their two arms lying near each other began to resemble one another in an oddly pleasing way to Walter, who watched, fascinated with this thing occurring, this thing Bill had planned and so patiently bided his time for.

Bill traced sand patterns with one pale hand that day by day became a darker hand. Each finger was dyed by the sun.

On Saturday and Sunday, more white boys appeared. Walter walked away, but Bill yelled for him to stay, what the heck, what the heck! And Walter joined them playing volleyball.

Summer had plunged them all int

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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