I watched as an approximately 11-year-old boy walked alongside what appeared to be his mother at a riverside park one recent Saturday afternoon. As the pair traversed a playground area adjacent to the sandy beach, the mother said something to the boy, who acknowledged her comment, and then both of them headed in different directions -- a bad move, as the woman soon would learn.
As he got about 20 feet away, the boy smiled as he reached and picked up from the ground a medium-sized, Y-shaped stick, which he flung in presumably Mom's direction. The stick hit her squarely in the back. The boy laughed. Mom stared at him for a moment before asking, in substance, "Why would you do such a thing?" He exclaimed, "Almost!" Why he said that, one could only surmise. Perhaps he had been aiming for her head, and viewed her as fortunate that he hadn't whacked her in the back of the skull. The woman and the boy resumed walking in opposite directions. The boy intermittently continued to laugh aloud.