Remember the song, ‘The Mississippi Squirrel Revival’? Well, my friends let me tell you my story.
Mama grew up in a hard working, yet poor country family. She dreamed, as many girls do, of marrying and raising a family. Graduating at the top of her class at the tender age of sixteen, she then married her true love, had two sons, and adopted me.
Mama quietly dreamed of owning a mink cape. She secretly had a ‘most wanted list’ for Christmas. I guess it must have meant that you somehow had obtained some type of status. (I personally felt sorry for the poor critters.)
Daddy went shopping, leaving me home to wonder. I wanted to tag along just to see him at work. I imagine he had the sales clerk model a few for him. He was a good-sized man, so I have my doubts he tried them on. But my imagination really ran wild while I waited for his return.
Hearing the truck roll into the old gravel driveway, I raced out of the house, screen door slamming behind me. I heard Mama yell something ‘bout learning to shut a door properly. All I wanted to do was sneak a peak at her present.
I wasted my energy ‘cause Daddy refused to let me see it, and swore me to secrecy. Although it was hard, I kept my mouth shut. I was glad I did when Christmas morning arrived, and I saw the twinkle in her eyes as she opened her gift. It wasn’t a mink stole, but it was a mink wrap. Mama loved it just the same.
Sunday morning came, and we arrived at Church. Mama took a seat next to the aisle. As the music started, there was a hush in the building. Suddenly from the other side of the Church, my young cousin spotted her. Before anyone could stop him, he was racing to my mama’s side yelling at the top of his lungs, “Aunt Helen, Aunt Helen.” He finally made his way to her giving a tug to the tale of Mama’s wrap. With his freckled face smile, he squealed, “Aunt Helen, Ain’t that Possum?”
Laughter broke out in the Church. I think I heard Mama saying something ‘bout eating humble pie. Ya Think that’s why she stressed pride so much to me over the years?