Midcentury Modern 

Midcentury Modern 

by Ernest Troost 

I went to kindergarten in a suburb of Toronto, where each day my sister and I walked to school, winding between five-story apartment buildings and undeveloped lots. There was an ice cream man in the area that cut kids up with a long knife and stuffed them into his ice cream cart with the popsicles. It was a known fact that if you heard his bell he was too close for you to get away. In hindsight, I realize that this might have been a tall tale made up by older kids…

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Night Crawlers 

Night Crawlers 

by Ernest Troost 

It was black outside as I stepped onto the chilly back porch. A light drizzle was falling and I pulled my windbreaker tight over my sweater. Dad handed me a flashlight and a coffee can with a little dirt in it. He looked at me as I shivered and said, “It’s not that cold. This will be fun.” 

Just after I’d gone to bed, I’d heard Mom saying to Dad that I was only eight years old, and kids that age need their sleep. I was too young to be dragged out of bed in the middle of the…

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How to Catch a Frog 

How to Catch a Frog  

by Ernest Troost  

If you tumble out of bed one morning in the autumn of your life and smack your palm to your forehead in the realization that you’ve never experienced catching a bullfrog with your bare hands, you’re not alone. But you’re in luck. After you finish your morning coffee, I’ll guide you through the steps.  

First, you’ll want to outfit yourself with waterproof shoes or rubber boots, and an effective mosquito repellant wouldn’t go amiss. After you’re suitably dressed, the…

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Clare's Woods 

Clare’s Woods 

by Ernest Troost 

I wish I had met Clare and got to tell her how much I enjoyed climbing her trees and wandering through her fields and meadows. How I scraped my shins trying to climb a granite ledge behind her greenhouse, how I lost a shoe in the mud hunting for frogs down by the lake, and how one summer I dug up some of her wild columbine and jack-in-the-pulpits in a dark hollow behind the caretaker’s cottage, and I transplanted them to the rock garden my mom was planting in our front yard…

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