Through the naked boughs, over the frigid grass, come ghostly echoes. I hear the hopscotch rhymes though the court is long gone. It was painted with perfect lines by the old preacher man, the one who told us to love and to share. The stones tumbled in their chaotic way, always at the mercy of chance. Our shoes travelled the numbers, always careful never to land on the forbidden square. I recall little Nelly Ogden, she could never pick up even the largest of pebbles without toppling over. The preacher used to dust her off, encouraging her to try over again.