When Earl and I were ten years old, Frankie and Tommy were twelve. They thought they were the hottest stuff in Queens. One day we were all hanging around at the empty lot at the end of our block. Frankie pointed to the tallest tree and claimed that thousands of years ago a sprite had angered the tree’s owner by trying to climb it without permission. Overcome with rage the owner petrified him permanently. “The kids at St. Gabriel’s will never believe this!” I told Earl in amazement.