Strangely enough I was reminded of the castle my best friend at the time , Mike D. , and I made , started to make , anyway , in fourth grade . It was to be a sugar-cube castle .
I bought one box of sugar cubes . Mike went around to local restaurants and swiped the small supply restaurants used to leave out in small bowls for coffee drinkers . Cubes aren’t common any more ; but they were then . There were only two or three restaurants in our town , though , so those places got wise to Mike right away and banned him . His meagre supply totally dried up . We argued about that . Was I going to provide all of the material for our castle ? No way .
I abandoned the mutual project . We had only two rows of sugar cubes glued . They formed a perimeter of the beginnings of a wall ; more of a foundation , a fourth-grader Hadrian’s Wall . I saw no hope of finishing . The project was due soon .
I left the thing with Mike and went home to begin plan B . Plan B was to do the same type of castle my older brother had done for the same class the year before : cardboard , toilet paper rolls for towers , construction paper for roofs . It looked pretty good when I was done .
Mike D. arrived with the wall we had done together. No further construction had been done ; no more rows of sugar cubes . A few extra cubes had been glued to the cardboard base ; a few rubber soldiers were lying around . He had fixed a sign to the thing : CASTLE AFTER AN ATTACK . He got an A . An A ? I had done most of the work and supplied most of the sugar and glue . An A.
” A for creativity “, the teacher said .
And I got a C . ” I’ve seen this castle before , ” the teacher told me . What ? He thought I’d turned in my brother’s from last year ? C ? The dirty dog ! I was cheated . I was tricked by my best friend , too ; betrayed ! What life’s lesson was taking shape and rummaging around in my tiny fourth grade brain because of this ? C ? Really ? I’d put a lot of last-minute work in on it .
So , here I am in Europe a hundred years later seeing castles and feeling the pinch of the castle project C . Mike D. had an idea , yeah . A desperate , last minute idea , but it worked for him . I wonder if he remembers the castle-construction project ? I don’t resent him in this story . I think the teacher was a twerp .