“I’m crazy and I am not afraid to use it,” Annie Jr screamed.   She was holding onto a pair of suction cups attached to the ceiling.   She let go, did a summer sault and landed on Snoopy who was quietly half dozing and half watching a NBA game.

“Roar, roar roar,” she yelled.   “I’m a bear, I AM A BEAR!”

Snoopy opened one eye, he kind of looked like popeye.   “Stop it Annie Jr.” then he pushed her away causing her to do a couple summersaults, a flip and then off the side of the bed.   She grabbed the sheet with her claws and peeked over the top of the bed at Snoopy, who, once again was closing his eyes.   His eyes opened quickly and he screamed, “Woooo Wooooo Wooo,” and waved his leg high in the air.   Annie Jr. ducked down quick.    “Wooo Wooo Wooo!” he screamed again.    “You see that Dad?” Snoopy jumped to his feet.

Annie Jr. stayed hidden quietly twitching her tail while Snoopy reround some dribble or pass or touch down or whatever happened in the game.   She was quiet while they both were wooing and stamping their feet and hand bumping.   Then things settled down.

Snoopy dozed off again and I heard, “I’m crazy and I am not afraid to use it.”  Annie Jr. jumped with a pogo stick up into the air screaming at the top of her shrill little lungs, “Honk honk honk I am a crazy biting goose.”

This was the fifth time Annie Jr. had repeated this being a different animal personality each time.   It reminded me of a young Annie, suddenly without warning adapting the personality of some animal.   Like in the middle of Walmart parking lot, when Annie suddenly became a bear and began roaring at the top of her voice in her shrilly cat voice.   It startled Rov so bad he jumped a foot in the air and yelled at me for it, like I had any control over the cat suddenly believing she is a bear.

“Alright, Annie Jr., you have been enough animals for today.”

“I’m a quacking duck, quack quack,” she yelled flapping her arms.

“I’m a snow man, freezing.” she hollered again and went all stiff.

“I’m a stinky skunk,” was next and a blast in the face of  Annie’s nature smells collection air freshener.    It was rotten fish flavor.   I almost dropped her.

“I’m a goat, bah bah,” she rammed me with her head.

“Time out!” I said and put her in her cage and closed the door.

“I’m a zorilla,” she yelled pounding her chest and rattling the cage.

“It’s gorilla now get calmed down and get under control.” I said and put the light out.   It was the only way to calm her when she was being crazy and not afraid to use it.

I went and sat down thinking about Annie Jr and her outbursts.    Hers were more frequent than Annie’s but Annie’s were more deliberate and more planned and calculated and less often so she would catch you unaware.    Like the time, Annie and her  ferret wife Gladys needed to go to the store and wouldn’t you know that Rov was outside the store on his break only to hear his name being called.   “Uncle Rov!” “Dad!’ (that was Gladys) and the pair of them had their bare rear ends sticking out the window as we drove past.

Annie always got under her Uncle Rov’s skin, like taking exactly two bites out of each one of the plain donuts in the package and not even disturbing the powder ones because she knew Rov liked the plain ones and giving birth to Norbert and several of his siblings in Rov’s room.

I relaxed and shut my eyes, I began to doze.    I was suddenly jerked awake with a shrill scream of, “I’m being a good cat, Slam!  I need story time now!”

Time out always ended with a story and cuddles.   I went to let her out and she curled up on my lap with her head against my chest, purring softly with her eyes staring into mine.   “Tell The Legend of Ole Gil,” Annie Jr. purred.

“The Legend of Ole Gil?” I was confused.

“The old guy Uncle Rov was afraid of.”   Annie Jr. explained.

Funny how she seemed to know I had been thinking about Rov.   I wondered if Annie had given her access to the mind control device.

“He wasn’t a legend and why do you want to here about him?   I thought your favorite stories were about your mom.”

“He was Mom-mom’s friend,” Annie Jr. insisted.

“Alight, Alright,”  I sighed.   “His name was Gilbert Wilbert but they called him Ole Gil.”

“And Uncle Rov, wished his name was Gil, right?” Annie Jr. added.

“Something like that,”  I agreed.   “Ole Gil was skinny, skinny bony legs, sharp bony elbows, twiggy like body.  Gray duct taped was wrapped around his wrinkly liver spotted old legs.   A pair of stretched out knee highs, sat on top of his old tennis shoes.   From the back you would have thought Ole Gil was a woman, with long gray scraggly hair, long painted nails, a huge purse, wearing a skirt and an old man tee-shirt, until Ole Gil turned around.   His big old scraggly beard, hairy old wrinkly beak nose was a dead give away even with his bright red old lady mouth and eye shadow.   It kind of hurt your eyes to even look at him but you just couldn’t help it.   See Ole Gil’s mom died and he loved her so much he took to wearing her clothes and using her things like her make up.”

“Why was Uncle Rov afraid of him?” Annie Jr. asked.   “He sounds kinda cool. ”

“I dunno,” I said.   “He was really rich though and he hid hundred dollar bills all over his house like inside books.”

“And my mom was his best friend,” Annie Jr. said.

“Yes,” I agreed.

“Now tell about Uncle Rov in the store,”  Annie Jr. coaxed.

“Well every other week we would go to get groceries and every single time Ole Gil would be in the store shopping too.   Almost stalking us because every time we would turn around, he would be right behind us and Uncle Rov would be shaking in fear begging to leave the store.   This continued several times in a row so Uncle Rov demanded to go to a different grocery store.   Even though, I felt Uncle Rov was being unreasonable in his fear, I agreed.   We are in the final legs of shopping and Uncle Rov was deciding on an ice cream flavor, when I saw Ole Gil right behind us, also looking at ice cream.   I told Uncle Rov to turn around.   He dropped a container of ice cream into the cart and looked up to see Ole Gil.”

Annie Jr. started laughing her crazy cat laugh.   I continued.   “Uncle Rov wanted to leave and we all headed for the check out.   Slamma Jr and I began unloading the cart.   I looked up and standing right behind Uncle Rov with a box of the exact same kind of ice cream Uncle Rov got was Ole Gil.   Your Slamma Jr. told Uncle Rov to look behind him.   When he did he must have jumped a foot.   He hurriedly squeezed between me and the cart and fled the store.     I paid for the groceries and we headed to the car.”

“And who’s old nasty car was parked next to yours, Slam?”  Annie Jr. asked.   “It was Ole Gil’s right.”

I nodded.   “But Uncle Rov didn’t know right?”

I nodded again.   “But Slamma Jr. did and she moved really slowly cause she knew Ole Gil was coming.”

I nodded and waited.   “Go on Slam,” Annie Jr. coaxed.

“Your Slamma Jr. was laughing her caw laugh before she got to the car.   Actually she was doing it the whole time in the store, but it was just how she laughed.”  I continued.

“How did it sound Slam,”  Annie Jr. asked.

I tried to imitate the  laugh that sounded like a deranged crow but could not even come close.

“Slamma Jr. began to slowly load our groceries into the back of the car.   She looked up and saw Ole Gil coming and her caws became louder.   Uncle Rov saw him too.  He jumped quickly into the car and waited there safely away from the scary Ole Gil, who was dressed in a Black Old Navy shirt, a bright yellow skirt, matching purse and black tennis shoes.   He looked like a skinny bumble bee.

The cawing at the back of the car got louder as Ole Gil approached his nasty old car parked right next to ours.   His driver’s door right next to Rov’s passenger door.   Uncle Rov was fiddling with a cd while Ole Gil tried to unlock his door with a flashlight. ”

“And my Mom-mom was hiding in the back seat,” Annie Jr. encouraged.

I nodded.  “Tell it Slam,” Annie Jr. cried.

“Annie popped up right behind Uncle Rov and screamed at the top of her lungs, ‘Hi Gil, Sweetie!’

“Normally, Annie’s voice caused Uncle Rov to jump and this time was no exception.   He jumped and turned to look over his shoulder at Annie who was behind him hanging out the window and he came face to face with Ole Gil who had turned and stuck his face right into Uncle Rov’s side of the car.”

“Oh Hi! Annie!” He said, then he handed her a hundred dollar bill and winked at Uncle Rov.

“And Uncle Rov fainted dead away, right Slam!”

“Yep,” I answered.

“Yippee story time is over,”  Annie Jr. jumped off my lap.

The Legend of Ole Gil had ended.





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