Myself as five-year-old child:
We had a bad storm last week. I was playing outside with my older brother and sister when it got cloudy and looked like it was going to rain. Momma made us come in the house, and said we couldn’t go back outside for a while. So we sat and watched TV until the lights went out. Everything got so dark! I knew it wasn’t night yet, because a game show was on. I went to look out the window, but Momma made us go in the bathroom and sit on the floor. Daddy wasn’t there, but he’s not home much.
My sister lit a candle and somehow some paper got set on fire. My brother said we did it, but I think he did it. Momma told us to shut up and be quiet or get a spanking. Then it got really loud outside, like a storm only a whole lot worse. Something was hitting the house outside on the walls and on the roof. A couple of times we heard some really loud bangs on the roof, and I got scared. I said, “Momma, what is it?”
She said, “It’s a hurricane.”
I said, “What’s a hurricane?”
She said, “A monster. It’s on the roof. But it can’t get in.”
I said, “OK” and went to sleep some time later, though it was so loud! Our dogs were let inside too and I was glad about that.
The next morning was quiet. We got up and asked Momma if we could go outside. She said yes, but to stay with my brother. When we opened the door, it was weird. The yard was all tumbled. The swing set was upside down. Tree limbs were everywhere. A tree was down on a power line. A lot of trees lost the tops, so I could climb them for a change! That was fun. Pieces of our roof were on the ground. That was from the monster. My grandfather came over later to see how we were doing. He said he saw his wheelbarrow move around the yard in the storm by itself! We thought that was funny.
Now I’ve got to start school. I’ll be in the first grade. My brother and sister say I’ll get spankings because they did. Momma told me not to talk in class. I can read my Bible stories, so I hope I do OK. I sure hope that monster stays off our roof from now on.
On August 17, 1969, category 5 Hurricane Camille slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast with winds over 200 mph and spread destruction into the Applachians. In my mind these extremely dangerous natural events are “monsters.”