He ran away from home when he was nine years old. So I tell him, You have to tell me that story. Like a good guest I pay my dollar to see the chupacabra though I feel it is my duty to tell him I don't believe in one.
He smiles, Can you keep a secret?
Yes, I can keep a secret.
It's real, he says while the grin takes over his face.
A groan from me and I hand him a twenty though my plan was not to break it. I'm paying you a dollar for the story. I don't even want to see that thing. I am standing in front of an aquarium covered with a faded striped blanket.
I gotta go get you change, he laughs. Go back there and see it. It's dead. It won't hurt you.
Then he's gone, and I'm alone in a tent with a dead chupacabra and a kitten with six claws on each paw. If I hadn't have gone back there to see it then I would have been too ashamed to write this story.
Squinting, one eye open, I lean in my upper body, keeping my feet in a get mark, get set, Go! stance in case I need to run. These are the kind of things I do for you.
Excuse me while we take a commercial break for the sweetest, smartest, most wonderful little baby bunny in the whole wide world. All the other little bunnies were basking in a hot sun (it was too hot to move) but this bunny was brilliant as evidenced by him sticking his precious little paws into the water to cool off. Then the strangest thing happened. He looked up at me and asked in the cutest little cuddly bunny rabbit voice, Do you know Kim?
And I was all, Ohmygosh. She's my best friend.
So the cutest, most awesome little white bunny said, Can you tell her to come get me, take me to her house and love me like I deserve?
Of course, I replied. Then the lady in charge of the game told me to keep walking.
Tate County Fair, Senatobia, MS. He'll be there tonight. I told him you'd go get him when you got off work.
You're the best,
Where were we? Oh yeah, the chupacabra and the six clawed kitten.
And the guy who ran away from home when he was nine years old.
He comes back to the tent to tell me he can't find change but he trusts me to bring him back a dollar.
So how old are you? I ask.
Thirty-eight. I look older, huh?
No. You were nine when you ran away?
How does that happen to a nine year old? Take me there. It's Friday night, 11pm, your parents are asleep, you were born with a special wanderlust so you sneak out the window and take off down the road?
He smiles. No. I was just working at a local fair. Ya' know, going to get stuff for people and making a dollar. I was making good money, fifteen hundred dollars. When the fair left town I just got in the bottom of one of their trucks. Nobody knew I was there. My face was even on a milk carton. Five years later I called my Dad from Tulsa, Oklahoma and told him I needed a ride home.
Three teenage boys walk by the tent slowly so I yell at them, You guys need to see this chupacabra. You won't believe it!
They stop and the runaway all grown up tells 'em he'll let 'em all see it for a dollar.
Today I am especially grateful for adventures we can take by walking out of our door.
Sorry, but if you want to see the chupacabra you're gonna have to pay him a dollar.