Friday, September 4, 2009

The Wolf at the Door

When I was about 3 or 4, my dad would come stay for the odd weekend.
For those just tuning in, my parents divorced when I was 18 months old and my sister and I went to live with my dad's grandparents while my mom went back to school.

So, when my fun loving, silly dad would come stay we would get to sleep in his basement bedroom if we promised to be good and go to sleep.
Of course we promised.
Of course we didn't sleep.
He would show cartoon "movies" which basically amounted to sliding a cartoon celluloid strip past the bulb in a glorified flashlight. Kind of like a View Master, but more basic. We didn't care. It was just great to hang out and spend some time with him.

My dad couldn't just show the cartoon, though. He'd show it upside down. We'd lie on the bed with our heads hanging off the edge and watch the slides while he narrated the action. Same slides every time but always a different story to go with them.
Or, we'd have contests to see who could jump the highest on his old iron bed. I remember being allowed to cheat by hanging onto the wrought iron headboard for maximum height. We would also jump from the headboard onto the bed. With him standing by, ready to catch us but also giving encouragement and pointers on technique and form.

His visits were always way too short and way too much fun. We had lots of good times with Dad. Yesterday I spent the day in bed and I remembered one night we all got into big trouble. Major league trouble.

It was dark and we were cozy under the blankets and he was telling one of his really great stories. This one was about how he had gotten lost when he was walking in the woods one cold, dark night.
We listened, trembling with fear as he told of how scared he was as he stumbled along, branches scratching his face and eerie noises so close to him he thought something was right beside him.

We were so immersed in the story we actually felt his relief as he found a small cave he could seek shelter in while waiting for the morning light. We were bursting with pride he was able to start a little fire using a method taught to him by an Indian chief. But then, we held our breath as he saw the lights in the forest. As they got closer, he was horrified to realize they were the eyes of animals drawing closer to his fire. We were horrified too!

Not just any animals approached. It was wolves, huge ravenous timber wolves! We shivered with terror as he told of his frantic search for something, anything he could use as a weapon to fend off the hundreds, no thousands of wolves that came stealthily closer. We gasped as he described their wild howls and their teeth gleaming in the firelight as they got closer and closer.

And we screamed in horror when the wolves pounced and ATE OUR DAD.

Yup, that`s right. My crazy tease of a father told a 5 year old and a 3 year old he was eaten by wolves. We screamed and screamed and no matter how he shushed us, he couldn`t calm us down. No matter how fast he talked and tried to explain he was right there, we were certain the wolves ate our dad.

Then, he heard a sound that struck icy terror in his own heart. My great-grandma was on her way downstairs.
He would have preferred to really face the wolves.

Even years later, she`d shake her head and cluck her tongue in disgust whenever we laughingly remembered the time the wolves ate our dad.

Yesterday was weigh in day but I had a migraine and forgot all about it. Today the scales were down one pound. I'll take it! A loss is a loss.

Cousin is coming down for the weekend and we have plans to go to the zoo and movie in the park (for the last time this year). Wonderful Daughter and I are very excited and can't wait for his visit. I'd better go get this place cleaned up.
If I ever catch Tikki to finish his grooming, I'll post the "After" picture.

Have a great weekend and watch out for wolves. Or bears as the case may be.


  1. What a wonderful story. How long was it before you calmed down? Or adjusted to having your dad et by wolves?

  2. That was great! I can just see you girls, screaming and carryin' on about you dad being eaten by wolves....
    Too funny.

    Have a great weekend and enjoy your cousin's visit!

  3. Wow Leah, that was fast. I wasn't finished editing yet when you commented...
    I slept with my grandpa and my sister slept with my grandma for as long as I remember so maybe we didn't calm down?
    We were equally scarred by the eating by wolves as we were when we heard about the time the lawnmower ran him down and chopped the hole in his head, leaving the big round scar on the back of his neck... (childhood ringworm).

  4. Hi Baggie L - I obviously need to learn to type faster. And not hit the "publish" button instead of "save draft" by accident.

  5. Cute story! Hope you have a good time with your cousin.