Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
Shopping at the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store was not my favorite pastime. So, I conveniently lost myself out the back door, where I spied a sprinkler twirling behind someone’s picket fence. I was a hot day, and this splendid tease was all too inviting for this young lady. So, I kicked off my sandals and dashed through the gate and onto the slippery lawn.
I hadn’t given it much thought, whether or not the owners of this cottage would mind my playing in their front yard – at least not until something grabbed my braid.
It was the scariest thing I has ever seen! A wrinkled orange-colored miniature hand swung my hair – soon this creature’s odd face was in mine. He grinned a yellow smile and pursed his lips as if to say hello.
It was a spider monkey!
“Tommy!” called his owner from the porch. ” Now you let go of that little girl. Come down out of that tree!”
On command, Tommy grabbed a willow branch with his hind hand and straddled the textured trunk, before he hobbled into the arms of his surrogate Mother. “Lilly” was a friendly and talkative sort, with an apron and those kind of “old lady shoes” you never see any more.
He invited me into see Tommy’s room on the screened porch. He had a miniature bed, table and chairs, toys and clothes. Today he was wearing a blue cotton Hawaiian top and bright red tennies. “Cute”, I thought.
We sat at the tiny table, in the now crowded room and looked at picture books with Tommy. Lilly told me all kinds of funny stories about my new friend. We had cookies and milk and then good-byes.
I returned to the grocery store, only to find my Mom in the checkout line, wondering where I had gone off to.