My family was never very big on practical jokes for April Fool’s Day.
We preferred to deceive each other year round.
Actually, my sisters preferred to deceive ME year round.
One of the first lies Lisa and Leslie told me was that a witch lived under the bleachers at our school.
An evil witch that tortured little children. Or did she eat little children? I can’t remember. Either way, she was one evil witch whom you didn’t want to meet. I was so scared of her that I dreaded P.E. since our Pre-K class used the field near those bleachers. I tried to warn my classmates about the witch but nobody seemed concerned. I guess because they were too busy being happy, carefree children.
Another lie Lisa and Leslie told me was that tapioca pudding was really yellow snow. Unfortunately, they decided to tell me this after I took a big bite of tapioca pudding.
“You know that tapioca is just snow that some animal peed in, don’t you?”
They got in big trouble for this lie since mom made tapioca pudding for dessert practically every week.
But tapioca and witches had nothing against what Lisa and Leslie told me about my former life….
Apparently, before I was born, I used to be a crawdad.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about being a crawdad. Maybe because it was so long ago.
Or maybe because crawdads have really shitty memories.
OR maybe I don’t remember being a crawdad because my sisters were lying.
If I had been a normal child, then I would have dismissed their claims without so much as a second thought. But when my sisters sat me down and told me with such conviction that I used to be a crawdad, I couldn’t help but sort of believe them.
Of course, I pitched a screaming fit first because this smelled like a great opportunity to get Lisa and Leslie in trouble.
But even after being reprimanded, those sisters of mine stuck to their story. And for the next couple years, they continued to stick by it. If we happened to pass by an irrigation ditch, they would whisper to me,
“Bet some of your cousins are still living in there.”
And if someone began talking about my grandpa Geronimo they would say,
“You never got to meet Grandpa because you were still a crawdad when he was alive.”
Just as I was starting to outgrow the whole crawdad story, my brother Jesse was born. One day while he was sleeping, my sisters told me they had something to show me.
“Watch this!” they said and Leslie clapped really loud over Jesse’s face.
The noise startled him causing him to throw his arms out like lobster claws.
“Hmm, looks like Jesse used to be a crawdad, too,” they mused.
There are days when I feel like I could have at one time been a crawdad.
My eyes get beady. My hands turn into claws. I scurry around looking scary.
And occasionally I eat dirt.
But I still think my sisters were lying.
That had to have been lying.
I hope they were lying.