Under the Porch
[Back in the ‘olden days’ before PETA and Political Correctness took control they (five and dime stores, Kreskee's and others used to sell items like ‘Injin’ Tomahawks, bow and arrows, and cow horns for kids' play.]
When I was five, living on 24th Street in Newport News, we had a large back porch. Beneath that porch, about four feet in height, was a really cool space to play. It was partially enclosed by lattice and was nice dry loam. I played cars in the dirt under there all the time that I was not riding my stick-horse, ‘Blackie.’ Actually it served as Blackie’s stable as well. He liked it.
Anyway, one day when I was digging around under there I encountered something gray and shiny in the dirt. As I kept excavating, it took a conical and curved shape and grew longer. I got a bad feeling. After a few more inches I recognized it for what it was.
Well, I was only five, and no scholar, but I had been to Sunday School on a regular basis, and even I knew that God was ‘up’ and the devil was ‘down.’
I ran screaming in the house. Hid under my bed. I was so traumatized that I couldn’t even coherently tell my parents what was the problem. I screamed ‘don’t let ‘im get me’ a lot. And they kept asking was I injured.
Sometime later they coaxed me out and I told them we had to move. Now. Finally they got me calmed down and my father went under there and dug up the horn to show me it was just a toy, and nothing to fear.
I figured that the devil was fully capable of losing horns and growing new ones. A week or so went by and I screwed up my courage, crept quietly back under there, dragged a cinder-block over the spot and then nailed a one-by-six board across the lattice-work.
Well, my parents wouldn’t move, but my defenses must have worked Ok because we suffered no further attack.
Of course, I gave that area a wide berth in the future – and I wouldn’t let Blackie go under there ever again.
- John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 03/24/10
Air Force Seal clip art courtesy of http://www1.va.gov/opa/feature/celebrate/milsongs.htm - 07/07/06
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