I was walking back from the library through Cain Park when I came up on a herd of pre-schoolers running around the playground. A few teachers observed the mass from a safe distance, but a group of four little black boys had wandered from their sight and were hanging out behind the restrooms by the walking path. They couldn’t have been older than five. They were picking acorns up off the ground and throwing them at a trashcan.
They saw me coming and stopped. I smiled at them, but they didn’t smile back. Their leader stepped forward. He wore a Superman t-shirt. He picked up an acorn and launched it at me.
“Whoa! Watch it there, killer!”
He ignored me, and picked up another acorn. The other three joined in. Little acorns bounced off my arms and legs.
“Hey now! That’s not very nice!”
The attack continued. I caught a couple acorns in midair. I squeezed them in my fists. When I got close, the other three backed off, but Superman stood his ground. I thought about wringing his little neck, but I held the acorns out in my hand, and tried to give him my meanest, most threatening look, and then I let the acorns drop one by one to the asphault. He let me pass.
As I walked away, the four started laughing at me! They decided to follow and taunt me through the park. One of their friends called out from the playground. “What you chasin’ that white man for?”
The laughter followed me for a good thirty yards, and then it stopped, and I heard a voice say, “Yo, dude!”
I turned around, and it was Superman. He waved at me as if we were old friends.
I waved back.