We were kids. Couldn’t have been older than six, that’s all I know. That’s as far as my memory can reach.
It’s more than far enough.
We were kids, and we were sitting in the barn. Staring at a dead mouse. Well, it wasn’t really a mouse. Not quite yet, anyway. It was still fairly pink. Poor thing. It was trying to be a mouse. It really was.
But it fell.
Instead of crawling or walking or scurrying how mice do, it fell from the rafters. Without even a single sound, it fell.
We were kids, and we were staring at the mouse, a giant lump in my throat and a stone in my stomach. An ache spreading through my joints as I thought about how such a small thing had died so soon. He hadn’t even really lived yet, the poor little thing.
And that was when he said it. Staring at the lost life before us, his expression receded in his sadness, he said it.
“One day, I’m going to be the Grim Reaper.”
It was a bit of a bombshell.
So, I’d said, “I thought you were going to be a lawyer.”
As somberly as he could—neither of us really understood it at the time—he said, “Mom says they’re practically the same thing.”