“The Watermelon We Almost Ate” by Doug Fincher

August 22, 2016 - “Listen to me and eat what is good....”  Isaiah 55:2

When my brothers and I were growing up in Center, Texas, Weaver’s Pond was our favorite fishing place….. and walking through Mr. Masseys watermelon patch was our favorite way to get there. One summer day in July, John and I stopped to check on an especially handsome melon…. (We’d been watching its growth for a couple of weeks.)   It was long, large and striped…the prettiest in the field.  After thumping and checking the bottom of the melon that day, we decided the time had come. 

A couple of hard hits with our fists burst it wide open and exposed a beautiful red heart and an aroma that was unmistakably “watermelon”.  John and I grabbed a chunk of the heart, took a big bite, and just as the juice began dripping from our elbows, we glanced up and there he was! ….the 80-year-old Mr. Massey …. staggering toward us and hollering, “I’ll git you boys!”  Quickly jumping through the fence, we plunged into a large growth of honeysuckle vines and as we lay motionless, Mr. Massey passed so close to us that I could almost feel the touch of his khaki pants as he brushed by.  John later said that his heart was beating so loud that he was afraid Mr. Massey might hear it beating, too. 

During my teenage years, I had several experiences in watermelon patches….and have eaten many, many watermelons….but the one that John and I will remember the best  won’t be ones we ate….. 

…….but the one we almost ate.