Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.
Remember The Ages: Six Through Eight
Seriously, this is not a children's fairy tale story.
Don't tell me that you didn't have these ages! These two years of my life gave me the toughest, darkest, and scariest memories that still live with me. And even today at my age, 67, I still wonder why I was chosen to be a young "zoo keeper" when all I wanted to do was get a little sleep when our lights went out.
I used every tool in my arsenal to defeat these evil things that had made themselves a home and for one reason: to aggravate me thus robbing me from any sleep whatsoever. To make it worse, everyone knows that all school students require a certain amount of sleep in order to succeed in tests and all learning exercises. I tried myself, but nothing worked. Seemingly I would start off well, but when my head hit my pillow and exhaled that last breath of tension, here those beings of evil would start and not stop until I would get out of bed and read something and when I was awake, these things would disappear back under my bed.
Funny thing about night time. There is another side of daylight life and darkness life. I know that I am sounding much like a second-grader, but it is the truth or was, when I was in this grade. Because while in daylight, life is oh so boring and lackadaisical that it was all that i could do to stay awake. But once I was in bed, "monsters" began to make their preference known. I never grew used to these evil sounds and vibrations which helped my bed to shake. You may think that I am joking, but nope.
What Things You Ask?
well in simplest terms, dangers like you won't believe. My "monsters" were more threatening than the kid in the Exorcist. And no elderly priest could have helped me. I was on my own. Sure there were a few times when I called for my folks to get up and help me with these things that live underneath my bed, which was met with gales of hard laughter. I understand that now.
If I had been two or two and a half, my folks would have grabbed me up in their arms and take me to their warm, safe bed. Nope. When you are in the second grade, life has its way of making your life miserable. Some of you know what I'm talking about.
No one ever told me that life in the second grade would be my time of rites of passage where I went from kid to early teenage-hood, but I survived. How? Only the Almighty, is all that I can say.
What Were The "Monsters" Underneath My Bed?
I will be glad to tell you. In fact, I am almost about to climb Mount Everest and shout to the world that children do have "monsters" in their bedroom closets as well as underneath their beds.
The first monster that I met was . . ."Benji," a northwestern grizzly bear. He always made his appearance about the same night: 7:56 p.m., he was a very punctual bear for a bear. I had so respect that of him.
But there he would be, softly growling with his mouth open and hungry enough to eat any living thing that was in front of him. Yes, me included. But I was somewhat of an actor. Without any formal training, I would always talk to "Benji" about how I was going to be a major film star in Hollywood and appear in Military, Drama, Comedy, and Romantic movies that all of America, and the world, could enjoy.
When "Benji" heard this, he would shake his head and get very angry. So to soothe him down, I whispered a few one-liners into his left ear. I could barely hear his growling which was laughter that I learned at a latter time. And just like that, "Benji" would smile at me and crawl back underneath my bed. Honestly, I never told him that I was sad each time that he would leave.
Ladies And Gentlemen . . .
My second "monster" was know as "Alfonso," a big alligator that had grown up in the Amazon River area. When we first met the first time, he was so angry at me asking him one question after the other and when I stopped talking, he would open those big jaws, and somehow smile at me.
To make "Alfonso's" visits worthwhile, I would head to our kitchen and bring him a bowl of Sugar Smacks and he loved them. He always wanted an extra bowl when he gulped down his first bowl, but I explained that rules are rules and if he was going to sleep underneath my bed, he would have to follow my folks' rules.
"Alfonso" tried to be an "Alligator James Dean," like "Gator Without a Cause," but he slowly got used to my routine and the Sugar Smacks that he loved. Actually, I liked "Alfonso." When I felt myself growing up, I didn't get to see "Benji" and "Alfonso" that much. I suppose that they had lives of their own, and had domain's underneath more children's beds, and I always prayed that they were happy.
Finally, You Good Folks, I'm Proud to Tell You
The last "monster" I met was "Olly" a beautiful Pacific octopus who had a gorgeous blue color about him. "Olly" liked to be third in my threesome of "monsters," because he could do more than the other two because they were finished and he could take all of the time he wanted. I never argued with him.
"Olly," at first, was very shy. When I would greet him, he would slither back into the darkness underneath my bed. It took me being patient. More patient that I had been patient up to then. But "Olly" liked to sit in the floor with me and he would tell me about his place underneath the Pacific, and how he was in love with a beautiful girl octopus named, "Olleana," and no other octopus loved her but him. I knew this going in. When he would mention her name, I was amazed at the glitter in his eyes. Or was it tears? I never knew which one.
"Olly" and I met and talked through my second grade year and when the summer of 1963 rolled around, I found it strange that in the early days of my new school term, I didn't see that much of the "Monsters Three," which really made me sad. You see, I had grown accustomed to them. A lot. It was so tough growing up and tougher not getting to see them every night.
What caps my tale is that my wife and I were blessed with three lovely grand kids. And none of the three reported at any time, of them having "monsters" who lived underneath their beds.
I'm biased. But I've always thought that these three little ones were born with "something" that kept "monsters" like my second grade self far away.
May 14, 2021_______________________________________________________
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