I chuckled to myself as I recalled an event from my childhood. As I am telling the story to my husband, I realize that it must be scrapbooked on the page with my Daddy's livelihood... his service station and souvenir shop.
The story goes something like this...
Many years ago it was perfectly legal to sell baby alligators. (This is before they were almost extinct, I suppose.) So that my Daddy did. You can bet he got a great deal on them and was making a lot of money selling them. I can't recall how much they sold for or any of those other details. (Maybe $1 each? Who knows?) I do remember how he built a small pool on the north end of the store and built a caged cover so that the tourists could see through the top and pick out the one they wanted to take home with them. He would keep the pool filled slightly with cool water.
|This jogged my memory. (The "alligator pen")|
These little babies would crawl all over each other and nip at each other. Perfectly harmless! However, as a young child (I must have been 4 or 5) I was totally afraid of that pen. So I would run past it whenever I had to go north.
I would literally run past it, and hold my breath. (As if that helped??)
But wait a minute. My sister who was four years older than I was, absolutely loved that pen. She would pull out a baby, chase me around and scare me to death. She also liked to entertain the tourists by holding a baby on its back and rubbing its belly until it went to sleep. It was obvious that my sister had inherited my father's sales ability. She seemed to be successful selling those baby alligators most of the time.
Well as the story goes, one day my Daddy went out to put water in the pool... and there were no baby alligators! What in the world... who let them out? "Cathy!!" my Daddy shouted at me.
But it was not me. Remember I would not even get near them! I had to remind the man that it was not me! How could I let them out if I could not even STAND close to the pen??
It was later decided that after an exhibition of Alligator Sleep Induction the previous day, my sister probably had left the pen's cover a little less secure than it should have been, i.e., the concrete blocks had not been lifted on the corner to secure that "latch".
For many years after that we found alligators in random places. I remember as a teenager that we went out to take a swim in the pool and there was a 3-foot alligator that had walked into the pool (it was not fenced in) and was unable to get out.
Uh. Yeah. Right. No swim that day, or for a few days after that.
As I consider scrapbooking this story, I think of how I can paint a picture without a picture... only words. Or maybe a re-creation of this word picture. And how the alligators themselves kinda represent my scrapbooking supplies. They started out small. They got out (of hand). They grew threefold. Chuckle. Ever hear of "being up to your knees in alligators"? That's me and my scrapbooking supplies!
So with this story, I intend to bring back a picture of this moment in our everyday life back in that day, for there was never a dull moment with my Daddy! He was a man who made life fun.
And then there was the day my Daddy trapped a monkey.
Well, that's another story for another day.
|I can't seem to escape those alligators!|