This is Granny Geezer. She’s very old and very tough. She’s been around longer than the rest of us can remember and she knows everything! Granny’s okay, as long as you don’t do something you shouldn’t do. Just don’t break any of the Monster Rules and, for goodness sake, don’t move any furniture! If Granny finds anything moved even a fraction of an inch she’ll throw a fit – and believe me, that’s something you don’t want to see!
I remember one time when some of us creasters – that’s what young sea creatures are called. So, anyway, this one time some of us were playing ‘Stones’ in the living room and we moved the glass coffee table out of the way. We were so interested in the game that we didn’t know Granny was near until she let out this awful screech. ‘Who moved the coffee table?’
Talk about screeching blue murder. No one can out-screech Granny Geezer, except maybe Boo-bet, but that’s another story. We were all too scared to move. Her eyes were flashing red, smoke was pouring from her ears, she was foaming at the mouth, and her tail was twitching like crazy.
‘If it wasn’t for damaging the furniture, I’d lash you with my tail,’ she fumed. ‘Go play outside – and consider yourselves lucky!’
We got out of there in a hurry, let me tell you, and not one of us ever made the mistake of moving the furniture again. Safe to say we learned that lesson well enough.
Of course, Granny’s not always grumpy. Most of the time she’s really very sweet and she can be lots of fun. She doesn’t get around much these days and spends a lot of time sleeping. She says her scales ache with age and some of them have soft spots. Her colour is starting to fade too. She used to be a pretty bright green but now she’s got quite a few white spots – not really white, but kind of a dirty white.
When she’s not sleeping, Granny likes to talk about the past. The age of freedom she calls it. ‘That was before so many pesky humans got smart enough to build those diving contraptions and began poking their noses everywhere that they didn’t belong!’ That’s Granny’s opinion.
‘Ah, those were the days,’ Granny says with a big sigh. ‘We roamed the underwater world without fear.’
When Granny is having one of her better days she can be coaxed into telling all kinds of stories about members of our clan. She’s like a living memory bank. In fact, that’s where a lot of my stories have come from, well, from her and Shyster.
Oh! I got to tell you this one. A few days ago one of the youngsters who are just learning to count came across Granny when she was napping out in the sun. She loves to nap outside these days. So anyway, this kid decided to count the white spots on Granny’s back. To make matters worse he put a dot of bright blue paint on each spot as he counted it – just so he’d know which ones he’d already counted. Makes sense – right?
It was all going fine until Boo-bet came along. She’s a real hypo… hypo… whatever that thing is when someone thinks they have every sickness that anyone else has. Well, she thought Granny had Monstipoxi, kind of like what humans call chicken pox I guess. Boo-bet let out such a screech that everyone rushed to see what was wrong.
Granny opened her eyes, looked around and slowly got to her feet. ‘What’s going on?’ she roared. ‘Can’t a body get any peace these days? And why are you all standing around here doing nothing? Don’t you have work to do? Haven’t I trained you better than that?’
‘Keep calm, Granny,’ Uncle Bunkle said quietly. Then he explained to her what had happened. ‘Boo-bet was terrified because she thought you had Monstipoxi and you know how easily that can spread.’
‘Yes, well…’ there was a gleam in her tired eyes. ‘Find the little twerp,’ she ordered. ‘He’s going to clean off the paint with the smallest cattail scrubber you can find.’ And with that she slowly lay down again and closed her eyes. ‘Find the brush quickly and I don’t care if it takes him forever to do it.’
That didn’t sound so bad until you realized that the kid had counted almost up to 500! That was probably going to be the longest massage Granny, or anyone else, ever had. No wonder there was a gleam in her eyes.
© Fay Herridge
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