It was early August of my ninth year, and I was cheerfully waiting for school to begin once more. My mother decided that to keep me occupied for two more weeks, I should take all the popsicle sticks that we had used over the hot, sticky summer, and build a house out of them. I loved the idea, but became irate (as nine year olds often do) when she said that I should do it all by myself. I was a clumsy, artistically challenged little boy who usually dreaded art class because of my inability to draw a straight line with a ruler. I threw a fit over her refusing to help with what was her idea to begin with. She simply accused me of not being smart enough to do it, and I quickly went about working on the project to show her how smart I was. Being the impractical little boy I was, I went to the encyclopedia she bought me at the grocery store, and looked up castles and forts. When I had decided on a model of Jamestown, I gathered all the glue, string and popsicle sticks in the house, and went to the picnic table in the backyard to work my magic.

After fours hours of gluing, tying, and screaming, I marched back in the house for a fresh supply of popsicle sticks and to look up "arts and crafts" in the encyclopedia. My mother wisely avoided me, but I found that she did care how my work was going when I found a crafts book on top of the encyclopedia bookmarked in the correct place with a popsicle stick. I grabbed the book, a full box of popsicles, and my markers and ran back outside. After I refreshed my supply of unbroken sticks by sharing the liberated box of popsicles with the other kids in the neighborhood, I began to correctly construct my popsicle house. It took me four days, 1,372 popsicle sticks, and two stomach aches to build the perfect popsicle stick house. I had to fight off two dogs who tried to eat my sticky manor, but was finally able to present my chewed, slightly leaning mansion to my bemused mother. As far as I know, it is still setting it the basement of my grandmothers house, where it went to live after my father sat on it two different times. And to this day, I hate popsicles!

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