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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Best read to children under seven.


Fifteen-year-old Houston Reed couldn’t quite puzzle out what he was looking at. He set his soft drink down on the side table by his grandfather’s recliner and moved to the sliding glass doors leading to the back deck. What sort of animal was he looking at? Was it an animal at all? Could it be a person dressed in an old brown coat and hat?

     And why would a human be rummaging through the trashcans? The Reed's neighborhood, Glestway Estates, was a retirement community and upper class at that. No one at the Estates would go through his neighbor’s trash. The metal cans no longer clanged together. The animal or person must have left.


     Houston sipped his soft drink, soon forgetting the whole thing. The smells of dinner drew him into the kitchen where Granny Reed stood tearing lettuce for their dinner salads. “Some cheese on the counter, Houston,” she said, pointing a piece of lettuce at the small clear-glass platter where toothpicks bristled from cheese squares and a variety of vegetables.


     Houston helped himself to a green pepper slice. He watched as his grandmother placed the finished salad in the fridge. His thoughts were again on whatever was going through the trash cans behind the garage. Should he say something about it to Grandma Reed? Before he could decide on whether to talk about it or not his grandfather banged through the door leading to the garage.


     “What a !%# mess I found behind the garage: All the cans were dumped out, paper and cardboard strewn everywhere. ... Newspaper even in the neighbor’s cottonwood. The tree looks bad enough without the newspaper shreds hanging from it.” He huffed.


     “What’s that?” Granny Reed pointed and took her husband’s arm, shoving him to the window in front of the kitchen sink.

    “What? Where? I don’t see ... Oh! A bigfoot! It’s a bigfoot!”

    “Where Gramps?” Houston wiggled between his grandparents. And what he saw made his knees shake. It was a real live bigfoot.

   “Camera, Mary, get the camera!”


     Click, click. “Turn the video on, Mary!”


     Houston took the camera from his grandmother’s shaking hands and ran onto the deck. The animal turned its massive head toward Houston just as it jumped the fence.

    “Don’t go any closer, Houston dear. Stay back! Don’t go ...” Grandma Reed had to be helped to a kitchen chair by her husband.
 
   “Sh, Mary. It’s okay.” Ben Reed comforted his wife. Then bolted through the sliding glass doors to where his grandson chased after the bigfoot. Mary Reed and her husband heard tires squeal and people yelling.

    Click, click, Houston filled the camera card. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. A truck had hit the bigfoot, knocking him flat on his back. He sprang up and limped into the woods. The photos Houston took were as many bigfoot photos, fuzzy, blurry. They proved nothing.

     But for years after, a limping bigfoot was seen in the area. Houston and his grandparents were of the fortunate few to observe this remarkable animal. The three always talked about their sighting when visiting. It always remained a subject of “wonder” and delight, for these three know that bigfoot exists.


The End

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