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.Erasmus Nutley, Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol pay their admission fees and now walk into the main grounds of the local zoo. They are at the crossroads of the mammal house, the small mammal house, the primate house, the pachyderms and the sea mammals. It is a warm sunny, beautiful day.
“Well here we are at the zoo. I hope you’re satisfied dragging me here. Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol. Why do you go by the name Lady Lynda anyway. We’re not in the UK You’re not royalty. And Auntie Carol. I can’t make any sense out of what you call yourself.
“Its easy to explain. I’m always a Lady.”
“Yes even when you were cheating on your husband.”
“You know I went back to him. Besides I was discreet. “
Nutley sneered “Thank goodness for small favors. Like luring me to this literally beastly place.”
Auntie Carol gulped. “I thought you’d like it here. You seemed so fascinated by your cockroach collection. Dan D. Walker told me it was inspired by the cockroach museum down in Plano Texas.
The curmudgeon sighed a heavy sigh. “Those industrious creatures are a true inspiration to me.”
The women discreetly wiped a tear from their eyes Touched by his genuine sentiment.
And you never told why you call yourself Auntie Carol. He harumphed.
“If you must know its because I try to be friendly to everyone Like I’m their favorite relative.”
“You are assuming a lot. For all you you could be talking to man or woman in a dysfunctional family. Did you ever think of that? “
Auntie Carol looked at the Zoo’s directional signs to get her mind off being with Nutley. Lady Lynda took out her compact and daintily dabbed some rouge on her cheeks to distract herself from entertaining second and third thoughts inviting Erasmus there.
Suddenly there is an announcement on the loud speaker. For a limited time there is an exhibit of an albino alligator at the reptile house.
Eramsmus Nutley, Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol turn their heads in the direction of the reptile house. The women nod at each other in agreement. They then look at Nutley to see if they can read his facial expression. They notice his translucent gray eyes water up with what looks to them, fond memories.
Nutley stifles a sniffle. He wipes a tear from his eye.. “Oh there must be ragweed here. My eyes are so watery now.”
Lady Lynda and Auntie Carol softly snicker at each other. There was no ragweed there.
“Erasmus its clear something touched a nerve.” they both chimed in.
“Yes Lady Lynda. I loved that albino alligator I owned when I was little boy. But my father and mother made me get rid of it.. They told it was getting too big for the house. Heck there was a good size creek behind the shed. Albie was the only thing I loved. I was eight when I first got him. I used to love to whoop down low to the ground and crawl around just like Albie. It was so much fun pretending I was a gator. Ever since I got rid of it I never felt close to anyone or anything. I loved how Albie would lick my face with its rough sandpaper tongue when I greeted her. Oh and how she slithered so low when I reached for her as she bathed in the backyard creek. And then they took her away. Now ever since I can’t imagine being anything but a curmudgeon.”
“Well I suppose we’ll skip the reptile house” said Auntie Carol Lady Lynda readily nodded.
“What are you crazy? You damn fools. You busybodies. I want to see that albino alligator. I want to see a reminder of my one love in my childhood. My one love in my life. Well maybe I can try to (sniff) relive those dear memories”
Auntie Carol and Lady Lynda look knowingly at each other. They know at last the truth behind Erasmus Nutley curmudgeon ways. It was a case of a long lost love that was so cruelly taken away form him by his misguided parents. All this time he was fearful of showing any attachment to anyone or anything for fear it would be taken from him. Now they understood what made him so darn crotchity. He still missed his albino alligator. Nutley was a sentimentalist after all.