Ten writers for children. All with something to say.
Monkeys and turtles and bees, oh my!
When I was a kid, I was afraid of everything.
I was afraid of bees (they can sense fear) and dragonflies (if they land on your face they can sew your lips shut).
I was afraid of water. My fear intensified after I almost drowned, accidentally jumping into the deep end of the Holiday Inn swimming pool when I was trying to splash my older sister.
I was afraid of donkeys. When we visited Reptile Gardens in South Dakota, my parents wanted a picture of me standing next to the donkey at the petting zoo. "He's going to bite me!" I said. "He won't bite you," my parents assured. They took the picture and the donkey bit me.
I was afraid of turtles. My fear didn't stop me from entering the turtle races during the Park and Rec summer program at the local playground, because I didn't have to actually touch the turtle, all I had to do was bring a dollar from home and a turtle would be raced in my name. Then one year my turtle won, which meant I had to carry the turtle home so it could race at the next level of competition. Gingerly I held the turtle by its shell and ran until it began waving its claws, then I'd drop it on the ground. That's how I made it home, about five feet at a time.
But my biggest fear was a statue that my mother had in the living room. It showed a monkey sitting on a pile of books written by Darwin, examining a skull. I'm not sure which scared me more, the monkey, or the skull. In order to make sure that this evil monkey didn't do anything bad to me, every night when I went to bed I had to honor that statue by going to sleep facing it. I went to bed facing the same direction for years.
Thank goodness those fearful days of childhood are over!