It all started when Teensy was ten years old. Her dog, Dewey, was run over by Mayor Wolford in his new Cadillac. That the Honorable Mayor was found drunk behind the wheel was never brought up, but when Teensy buried her pet, the whole town muttered. It was the way she buried her pet that set tongues to waggin’.
First, she buried him in the town cemetery under a willow tree, right next to Major John Jay Jacobs of the 39th Regiment of the Northern Alabama Confederate troops. The ladies at Pat’s Set and Curl had spied her at her task.
"What is that child up to this time, Rita May?" asked Pat the proprietress.
"I have no earthly idea, Patsy. Just no idea ‘tall," she said craning her head around to look out the window. Curious, she got up, dripping purple hair color, and stood on the front step of the beauty parlor. Seeing Teensy dance around that grave made her call out excitedly, "Louise! Mabel Sue! Y’all get your heinies out here. That child is gone plain crazy."
What they saw was this. Teensy had stood over her beloved dog’s grave for five minutes, then started dancing and chanting.
Deader’n a brick,
Crawl in your killer’s hair,
Be a tick."
Over and over and over.
And wouldn’t you know it? Two days later, Mayor Wolford was afflicted with the country’s biggest, fattest, ugliest-lookin’ tick his wife had ever seen. And it resisted all efforts to remove it by the local doctor.
When Teensy’s mother had mentioned it at the table that night, Teensy just smiled. The ladies at the Set and Curl gossiped about it for months and Mayor Wolford wore a new hat to cover the new bald spot made by the doctor as he surgically removed the head-eating tick.
I’d love to tell y’all all about the time when Teensy was thirteen and her pet turtle was accidentally crushed by the next-door neighbor boy, Randy Joe, but that will have to wait for a more opportune time. I have to go to the Set and Curl for my monthly perm.
….to be continued