Hoppy The Hopper

When I was small I had a friend who was a hopper. I called him Hoppy. Boy could Hoppy hop! He could hop six feet in the air from standstill. He could hop and pop and hop on hop without ever getting tired. He could hop all day long, come to think of it! I never saw anyone hop as much as Hoppy. I used to have hours of fun just from watching him. Hoppy never did much else other than hop – hopping was about the limit of it for him really. Either he sat still like a huge black flea, perfectly unmoving for hours on end, or he hopped. It was always the one thing or the other with good old Hoppy – either he was hopping like crazy or he was still as a statue. You never knew what it was going to be either – you never could tell. That impressed me too about Hoppy – the fact that he was so damn inscrutable; I used to wake up in the morning and there he would be, crouched at the foot of my bed is if he were carved out of obsidian. ‘What is it going to be today, Hoppy?’ I’d ask him, ‘hopping or staying still?’ Not that he’d never answer me of course – talking wasn’t exactly part of his repertoire. No sir, Hoppy wasn’t one for small talk! Or any type of talk for that matter. The only thing he had in his repertoire was hopping, as I believe I have already said. Either hopping or not hopping. I didn’t mind that though – I didn’t have any other friends at that point in my life apart from Hoppy and having him as a buddy got me through that difficult time. I wasn’t popular as a kid and often enough the other kids would beat me up when they saw me. At the very least they would mock me and humiliate me. It wasn’t like that with Hoppy though – we had an understanding. He accepted me; he was the only one who did, now that I come to think of it. My parents didn’t accept me – I was a disappointment to them. They had hoped for a child whose wasn’t as intensely introverted as I was, no doubt. A popular child who was on the school football team, perhaps. They never actually told me that I was a disappointment to them but I knew it all the same. I could tell by the way they looked at me at dinner time, which is just about the only time they ever saw me. Every day, the disappointed looks over the dinner table. Every day the same old looks. I couldn’t wait to get back to my bedroom and spend some quality time with Hoppy, trying to guess whether he was going to hop or not. Good old Hoppy, inscrutable old Hoppy. I remember spending long evenings staring into his face wondering, ‘what’s it going to be for tonight old boy? Hopping or not hopping?’ Hoppy got me through that difficult time in my life, as I have said. Hoppy’s quiet acceptance of me got me through. I will always owe him for that, needless to say. He was my only friend at a crucial stage in my life and something like that can make all the difference. Hoppy isn’t with me anymore unfortunately – he made one supremely vigorous hop one day, a totally crazy hop, and smashed into the ceiling of my bedroom. He must have been moving at a tremendous velocity because he went straight through the ceiling and embedded deeply in it. He stayed there for a good ten minutes before falling lifeless to the floor, all busted up. I could tell from the noise he made when he hit the roof that it wasn’t good news. It wasn’t a very nice noise at all – a sickening squelchy wet thud, followed by a deathly silence. That was Hoppy’s last hop and his greatest. He was some character, old Hoppy, and I’ll never forget him. I’d like other people to know about him too and that’s why I wanted to share the story with you…








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