An American Childhood
Annie Dillard is a Pulitzer Prize winning author for non fiction writing. Dillard wrote about an autobiographic event that occurred in her childhood titled “An American Childhood.” The premise of the story is when seven-year old Dillard and a friend were chased relentlessly by an adult after they had thrown a snowball at a passing car. While in the process of reading Annie Dillard’s “An American Childhood,” I was interrupted numerous times, therefore I had to read “An American Childhood,” several times before I could understand the meaning of her story. I cannot relate very well to her quote by she was terrified at the time and yet she asserts she has “seldom been happier since” (22).
Annie Dillard loved playing football with the boys, nothing the girls did could compare to the excitement of playing football. Where you can throw a great pass or receive a pass while someone is chasing you to bring you to the ground. The boys let Dillard play baseball with them since Dillard had a strong arm like the boys through practicing.
On an early weekday morning after Christmas, many inches of new snow had fallen. Seven-year old Annie Dillard met the boys’ ages eight, nine, and ten in front of her house on Lloyd Street, where they had snow nearly to the top of their boots. The two oldest boys were Mikey and Peter Fahey who lived near Dillard on Llyod Street. The tough kid Chickie Mc Bride was there and Billy, Paul, and Mackie Kean too from across Reynolds Street were the boys grew up. The group of kids wandered around their neighborhood looking for action, when they had found it on Reynolds Street. It was a chilly day that wintery morning with clouds afloat in the sky. As the cars drove down Reynolds Street, you could hear them coming from afar, by the clanking of the chains on their tires. As the cars drove past, the chains on the tires left different grove patterns through the fresh snow. Dillard and the boys began making perfectly shaped snowballs. (Dillard and the Fahey boys considered it unfair to actually throw an ice ball at somebody, but it had been known to happen) (23).
Since Dillard and the boys had a good steady flow of cars coming down Reynolds Street they could not ask for better conditions. Dillard and the boys were making perfectly round snowballs, when the cars passed they would all launch one snowball at it. Then a black Buick was driving down the street towards Dillard and the boys. They all spread out took aim and fired upon the black Buick. (A soft snowball hit the driver’s windshield right before the driver’s face, it made a smashed star with a lump in the middle) (23). This time the car pulled over and stopped, a thin man in his twenties wearing a suit and tie jumped out the car and began chasing Dillard and the boys, leaving his black Buick behind without even closing the door as the man began chasing Dillard and the boys down Reynolds street. Without a word the group split up, since it was Dillard and the boys’ neighborhood and they would know where to run and hide. Everyone had vanished except Mikey Fahey; Dillard began to follow Mikey as well as their pursuer. He chased Mikey and Dillard over fences, through yards, in between houses, along the way Dillard kept looking back and not believing how adamant this man is, after ten blocks he is still on Dillard and Mikey’s tail all awhile the two of them are becoming more scared as the time is passing on while they are running out of energy to keep the chase going.
Dillard, Mikey, and the thin man in the suit were running out of breath, and the thin man in the suit finally leaped toward Dillard and Mikey grabbing them by the back of their jackets. At first nobody said a word; they were all trying to catch their breath. Then the thin man concludes to Dillard and Mikey “You stupid kids” then began chewing them out (24). Dillard concludes if the driver of that black Buick would have cut their heads off, I would have died happy for...
Cited: Dillard, Annie “An American Childhood” Reading Critically Writing Well. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R Cooper, and Alison M Warriner. Boston: Bedford, 2011. 22-25. Print
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