Ross Anthony, M.Ed. (A Los Angeles Creative)
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Infinite Adventures of Rodney Appleseed
By Ross Anthony

"Even if everyone tells you
'Everything cannot possibly grow from nothing'
...plant a seed there anyway!"

Rodney Appleseed
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Nonetheless, and without warning, the bull crashed out and into the street through the five by nine-foot picture window upon which Gabe had painstakingly hand-painted his name in brilliant red and green. The window shattered splendidly against the bull's nose, chips of broken glass jumped out into the grass and the gutter, already well littered with Tootsie Roll wrappers and bad Bazooka riddles. Cartons of Skittles and M&M's poured out onto the sidewalk.

Fortunately, none of this was happening in Rodney's mind -- that would have given him much too much time to think it over. No, Rodney was not thinking about bulls or Hershey's kisses or even banana pops; but he was, in fact, thinking, as always. Only moments prior to the bull's spectacular appearance, Rodney had been wondering about why people press the button in elevators when someone else has already pressed that button, " ... And it's even already lit up. So why press it again?"

Consequently, Rodney had just begun to think about how people never talk to each other in elevators and how even looking at another person there is an act of wasted awkwardness. (Rodney was pretty sure that awkwardness ought not be wasted.) " ... It's like a sideways glance is about the best anyone ever manages before they pretend to be relieving a crick in their neck or something. Their eyes just stay glued to the numbers above the door. How could we get people to talk to each other in an elevator? Is there something about elevators that make people unable to be friendly to one another? A force or an energy -- like pyramids or something?" Rodney wondered. (Rodney was very good at wondering.)

That's when the bull came into full view. Rodney instantly abandoned his train of elevator related thoughts, which he knew would be a shame, because runaway trains are quite difficult to regain control of (although it can be done). He knew that he was about to think some real good things in the elevator vein that he may never again be able to almost think -- even if he tried real hard to remember all the preliminary thoughts from around lunch time. But even for Rodney, very few brain impulses were needed for a value judgment between the immediate worth of elevator related thoughts and real live charging bulls with scratched noses: charging bulls seemed to warrant prompt attention.

"SAVE YOUR LIFE RODNEY!" blazing in red neon across trembling neurons, became the priority mental activity. Elevator contemplations scrambled for an open brain cell, but all brain cells were scrambling for an open path away from the bull. None were available. "Only -- maybe that fence, twenty yards to the left." Rodney knew he could easily climb that fence, but split-second estimates read negative for an attempt to reach it before the bull reached him. Another millisecond was lost considering Mrs. Denino's redleafed maple tree, but already the bull was between he and it. Rodney had to face this one on his own. Flushing from head to toe, he ripped off his red jacket and waved it in the air to his left.

Leaning his backside toward the beast, he felt its fur coat breeze narrowly by. To say that Rodney was terrified would be like calling the Grand Canyon a cranny. Rodney was clearly battling the urge to fall to the ground under the crushing weight of fear. Yet, he drew a certain confidence (and even satisfaction) in surviving the bull's first pass. The bull rounded and returned for the red,


... when it gets dark in infinity -- it gets real dark. So dark that you can only see nothing. Actually, it is exactly correct to say that when infinity gets dark -- it becomes nothing." Hogan paused and looked Rodney straight in the eyes, "And if you thought infinity was hard to comprehend -- you better keep yourself out of nothing for a while."

"Are you gonna stay in nothing?" Rodney asked.

"Sure will. I have for many years. It takes a lot of preparation. You can't go into nothing with a mind full of expectations. Unfortunately, many folks do just that."

"What happens to 'em?" Rodney wondered out loud.

"They go completely insane. They scramble pathetically for something before it's time for something. Mostly always they end up finding anything, only to discover it's not something they wanted at all."

"So how can you do it? How can you get into nothing and come back out okay, like you are now?"

"You just can't cast any expectations out into nothing. It's okay to have a few -- but they must be carefully chosen. If you choose them unwisely -- you'll find out the first night in nothing. Instead, fill yourself with patience and trust. Patience, because eventually, at dawn, nothing becomes everything, and without fail, everything becomes infinity."

"Whoa heavy stuff, Hogan."

"Yea, I know ... and trust, because out there in the middle of nothing -- it's not so hard to start believing that nothing will always be nothing and that nothing will eventually become of it. Rodney, you must always believe in the dawn, otherwise you will scramble for anything."


"I'm partial to apple seeds. Would you allow me the pleasure of planting a few in your field?"

The farmer paused, looked Rodney straight in the eye while the dry parched ridges of his own moistened, "Son, I'd be honored."

Rodney turned to the field with a hop in his step. He pulled his full fist from his pocket and began to plant each seed delicately and carefully. The dusk had already pressed the yellow wax glob against the horizon so that it became long and thin like a crayon. Rodney then began to run and spin, letting the seeds jump out between the cracks in his fingers. When all the seeds had left his grasp, Rodney waved his hands through the gray air, over the black field. The crayon colored the tips of his fingers yellow, as well as the top of the tractor's steering wheel and the strands of the farmer's hair that wafted gently in the air. The yellow became orange and then red and then the crayon left the sky in exchange for a fist full of stars.


At that point the cornfield gave way to a beautiful garden full of all sorts of flowers and vegetables. The flowers seemed to float up from the ground like bubbles in water. They sway-danced in the wind; red, white, and yellow petals opened to kiss Rodney's face as the wind twirled and dipped them. Furry bumblebees (with honey dripping from their backs) zipped in and out like oregano on pizza. Hummingbirds hovered breathless above ground like hearts in love. Metallic dragonflies bowed in and out of violin string stems.

To the left, fat red tomatoes burped, juicy strawberries giggled, thick orange carrots and white onions slept together under the ground.

"Plants are so beautiful, why should people feel any better about eating plants and not animals?" Rodney thought. "Just 'cause plants don't so often cuddle, and they don't usually cry out when they get cut. I mean, at least animals have a chance to run or bite back. What kind of hunter would track down and kill radishes? Where's the sport in that? It's a massacre plain and simple. Plants gotta have feelings too. Why not? I wonder what it feels like to stand all day in the same place? Sucking from the planet what you need to stay alive. Opening from a seed under the earth and pushing. Pushing through dirt up. How do they know which way is up? Is the ground warmer towards the sun? Is it instinct or faith? Is it just a hunch? Are there just as many that grow down? What's on their minds as they struggle against the mud and gravity in complete darkness? Complete nothing, but weight. Do seeds have any idea of how wonderful the sun is? Alone in that damp black world where insects and germs claw at them all day, what are those seedlings thinking? It'd be so crazed to sit one day and have a long talk with a seedling. And then, geeze! Breaking through that last clot of dark. That first crack of light -- it's gotta be blinding. The weightlessness of the atmosphere hasta be dizzying. The sharpness of all the colors glitterin' in the dew, the massage of a sunshower must feel like a hundred million kittens lickin' your face at the same time."

Rodney reflected like light through rain as the leaves spun in circles around him like kites, like model airplanes. He picked up his feet and stood. Light from the bobbing sun laid patches of bright and shadow across the corn and across the garden like the patches of black and white in the hide of a cow. Out further into the garden Rodney could see a damaged area, nearly round and about eight feet in diameter. Stepping carefully, so that he wouldn't harm the plants, Rodney investigated the problem.

Inside the circle of damage lay dead and suffering plants mangled, broken and covered with dirt. Rodney's Adam's apple hardened and he turned away as the odor of decay reached his nose. Just then, he heard a sound, as if something was moving in that dark circle. Rodney stepped forward into the circle and at its center found a gray rock of some kind rolling back and forth. The rock was about three feet in diameter and by the sound of its movement appeared to weigh as much as a locomotive.

Rodney Appleseed

Rodney Appleseed
"I could NOT put it down. It is the best book I have ever read. Thanks for putting a big smile in my heart :)" Julie, Registered Nurse

"What a unique approach to life!!! I will pass your book on to my students. They each should have the opportunity to delve into such a positive story." Linda, Teacher

"Good Book. I like it. Creative, insightful, imaginative, thought-provoking, innovative." Choi, Semi-Retired

"Moments of genius, actually," Rocky, Graphics

"Good solid book" Fred, Real Estate

"I liked [it] very much. creative. a one of a kind. a very special approach to looking at the world around us." Alice, College Student

"Philosophical, witty and spirited, embedded in a very innovative writing style." PingPing, HS Counselor

"With so much cynicism and negativity around me all the time, it's nice to experience a character who's so optimistic and hopeful." Tania, Coordinator

"It's a wonderful combination of fantasy, philosophy, and fun! Thanks again for this little gem." Betty Jo, Film Critic

"I don't read much, I prefer 30 second audio video bites ? but this book drew me in. It was like 'hey look at me, I'm reading!'" Richard, Basketballer.

"Awesome!" Jennifer, Journalist

"Delightful like a Children's book, but not a children's book." Marie

Click here for more Rodney reviews.

Click here to get a signed copy of "Infinite Adventures of Rodney Appleseed - THE TRILOGY!"

Copyright © Ross Anthony, Last Modified: Thursday, 24-Oct-2013 21:31:08 PDT