I have a reoccurring character that just happens to be an animal. Not the type of animal you would normally think of, if you were thinking of animals. This particular critter is roughly the size of a wolverine. It has two unusual characteristics.
Number one: Its yellow eyes curve from the front around to the side of its head.
Number two: It talks.
Animals bring about a wealth of emotions. These emotions are different for each individual, just as finger prints.
Allow me to tell you of some of my early experiences with our four-footed friends.
I’ve always had a special place in my being for animals of the reptilian variety. My first exposure to these scaly creatures came in the form of an alligator named Wilbur. In actually Wilbur was probably a caiman, but when it comes to a twelve-inch long mouth with needles for teeth, does it really matter?
When my buddy Wilbur joined the household, he wasn’t exactly the warmest of pets a seven-year old could possess, but then again in my circle of friends I had reached a pentacle that could not be topped.
Wilbur’s living arrangements consisted of a white plastic tub covered in rat wire to prevent escape. Wilbur would float in his custom accommodations happily munching on raw hamburger.
When the lacerations on our hands had healed sufficiently, we could pull Wilbur out of his cage and the bloodletting play time would begin.
One day we walked into the bathroom and Wilbur didn’t look quite right. Instead of his jovial self, he was acting as though he had ingested LSD.
Shortly after the drug like episode, Wilbur left our family for good. I found out later that the constant turning on and off of the light, fried poor little Wilbur‘s pea size brain. He never had a chance. With a hole in my heart and numerous holes in my fingers I set about planning his funeral.
I made a cross, a piece of wood with his name carved into it and a shoe box wrapped in a plastic parachute. I dug a hole in preparation to accept the body of my lost friend. I erected a cross and head stone. With a tear in my eye I personally selected the mourners (my sister) for the ceremony.
The funeral procession consisted of myself and one reluctant mourner. We marched to the grave site, where I solemnly placed the shoe box. Covering the hole with dirt I began my eulogy.
“Wilbur was a good alligator.” It was then I sensed (due to barely audible giggles) one of the people in attendance were not as sad as I thought they should be.
In order to help put her in the mood, my fist found the large target, that was her back, and then, we all properly grieved for our deceased pet.
I don’t want you to think that I was a demon child growing up. I had my share of dogs and the like (what most people would deem normal pets) up until just a few years ago when our last dog died.
I have my wife and kids for companionship and don’t want to fuss with anything that can’t feed or water itself.
I still consider myself an animal lover, but of the type that slide on to grills, into ovens and swim in gravy.
I think of my good friend, Wilbur the alligator, from time to time. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who’s tooth is doing the biting) I have acquired a taste for blackened alligator tail.
Hmm, I wonder why that is?