Teensy Kilbraken had a way with animals and it had been that way since she was a tiny, young thing. Everywhere she went she carried some animal with her, talking to it like a baby. It was jest plain cute when she was little, but as she got older it was jest plain strange, if you ask me.
But then again, everythin’ about our Miss Teensy is strange.
Other children would be out playin’ Cowboys and Indians or hopscotch, but Teensy would be in her backyard buildin’ a new wing onto her animal hotel/doghouse her daddy put together for her belated dog, Dewey, the one who was run over by Mayor Wolford.
Anywho, Teensy would find a hurt bird or squirrel – and sometimes I swear they found her – and she would take care of it in the dog house. And, mind you, this weren’t no tiny doghouse, it was fairly big.
And woe and behold anyone who came near her precious patients, like the time Anna Marie Johnson faced the wrath of Nurse Teensy.
Anna Marie was a princess, or so her momma and daddy said. And that’s how she acted too. That girl didn’t have to lift a finger to do anythin’. Well, one day she was walkin’ pass the Kilbraken house on her way to her best friend, Betty’s, house. Teensy was sittin’ on the front porch wrapping a raccoon’s broken leg with some gauze.
Now, the reason I know this is because I was sittin’ across the street in front of Corrine’s Cross Stitch Palace. This is what happened…
"Well, if it ain’t Teensy the Twerp," Anna Marie drawled, jest oozing with sugar sweetness and smiling a practiced smile.
Miss Teensy smiled right back, showing bright, white teeth. "Well, hey there, Lizard Lips!" she exclaimed as if overjoyed at seeing her classroom rival.
Anna Marie’s somewhat thin lips pursed in annoyance, but she smiled her fake little smile and continued as if Teensy had said nothing. "Betty Butts called and asked me to go shopping with her this afternoon."
"Hmmm," Teensy murmured, her attention back on the injured animal.
"Shopping in Birmingham," Anna Marie carefully said, pressing the importance of this occasion.
"Birmingham, you say?" asked Teensy. The raccoon wiggled in her lap.
Anna Marie’s blonde head nodded. "Uh huh. Daddy gave me a ton of money to spend. Too bad your daddy doesn’t buy you many new clothes. But, "she went on maliciously, "I guess that’s good ‘cause you’d jest mess them all up playin’ with your critters and all."
No response. Teensy had finished wrapping the raccoon leg and was whispering words of comfort to it. Furious at not getting Teensy’s goat, Anna Marie tried another tactic.
"Oh, and Teensy? Guess who I am going to ask to the Sadie Hawkins dance?"
Still no response.
"Come on guess!" By this time, Anna Marie was tapping her foot impatiently on the sidewalk.
"Heavens to Betsy, Teensy! Can’t you pay attention to me? I’m gonna ask Boyd Utley!"
"Yes, Boyd," Anna Marie said snidely.
"How do you know Boyd?" Teensy asked, picking up the raccoon and cradling in her arms like a baby.
"Well, I don’t, but he is the most popular boy in school and I’m the prettiest," she raked her slim fingers through her hair vainly, "and the best dressed. That’s all a boy cares about anyway."
Teensy just stared, her eyes twinkling with a secret delight.
Anna Marie, seeing the look, faltered a bit. "I jest know he’ll say yes."
"You think so?" questioned Teensy with a grin.
"I know so. Besides, what do you know about boys anyway?"
"More than you probably, Lizard Lips. In fact, I bet if I asked Boyd to the dance, he’d say yes and forget all about you."
Anna Marie stiffened with outrage. No one insulted her like this, especially strange ol’ Teensy Kilbraken.
"Oh yeah? Well, you just go ahead and do it and I’ll be laughing when he turns you down flat."
At this, Teensy’s eyes became unfocused and she began mumbling.
"Boys and girls jest a prancin’
Let Boyd say yes, and we’ll go dancin’."
Anna Marie watched in disgust and with a little bit of horror. She had heard of Teensy’s strange predictions and curses and didn’t care to be witnessing one. After Teensy finished, she walked over to the corner of the house and yelled, "Hey Boyd!"
A voice answered from the side of the house as footsteps were heard on the flagstone walkway. Anna Marie watched in horror as the subject of her argument came swaggering over to the front porch.
"B-B-Boyd?" she stammered?
‘Oh, hey Anna. Whatcha doing here?"
"I…I just…I was gonna ask ya’ somethin’," Anna began, unable to believe her eyes
"Boyd, you’re goin’ to the Sadie Hawkin’s dance with me, aren’t cha?" Teensy interrupted, handing the raccoon over to Boyd who began petting the creature with affection.
"And why is that, Boyd?" Teensy prodded, elbowing him in the side.
"’Cause you’re the coolest girl in school, Teensy." Boyd, the little heartbreaker, recited.
With that, Anna Marie fled.
I tell ya folks, that girl was jest a sobbin’. I could hear her all the way from across the street, and as she ran, I heard Teensy say…
"No problem, Teensy," he replied gleefully, "Goin’ to the dance is not much of a payment for fixin’ Ricky’s leg here."
"Well, jest don’t go and tell anyone we had a deal, got it?" Teensy warned, then smiled a secret little smile as she watched Anna Marie run down Main Street.
© Dana Sieben