I attended a little tech college in Arkansas a few years ago when TJ was in Headstart and Calvin and Caleb were in Elementary school. My dad and uncle had the rock quarry in Lockesburg at the time and this particular quarry is known for the exceptionally hard sandstone it has there.
We went to the quarry over a weekend on a Sunday, and the boys of course wanted to play outside. It was warm out so they had taken their shirts off...
Now, I lived with my dad at the time and he had a girlfriend. So often he would be home early on Friday or Saturday nites and would get ready to take her out. As is norm for him he would shower, get dressed and ask me to iron his shirt. Now while I was ironing his shirt he would shave. The boys always followed him into the bathroom for this little procedure.
Now, my dad -- bless his heart -- has a skin condition. He's got all these little red marks all over his back. The boys, being children, asked about these marks. He told them each and every time about this.. "Oh, those are alligator bites!" Or, "Those are bear bites! I had this really big fight a long time ago with a bear." Back to the weekend adventure at the quarry.........................
TJ took a spill out in the oversized driveway... grass simply doesn't grow on those rocks... trust me. He scraped his chest and just had a few scratches.
Next day -- Monday and back to the daily grind of classes, work and school.
The two older boys rode the bus to the Headstart building a few blocks away from the school. My afterschool childcare provider lived next to the HeadStart Building. I finished up classes for the afternoon, went to work and about 6ish went and got the boys from the girl that watched them. Now, when she saw me pull up in the van she immediately came out. She says to me "I need to ask you something." My first thought was "UH OH.... Now what?" Calmly I asked her, "What's up?". Her response was, "How did TJ get those scrapes on his chest?" So, I told her about our trip out to the quarry and how they had been playing and such. She had children too, so she says "Okay, you HAVE to hear this!"
She tells me, "Since it was hot out today I let the boys take off their shirts to play. Now, I saw those scrapes on his chest and asked him how he got them. You are not going to believe what he told me."
I asked, "Ok, what did he tell you?"
She says, "He told me about going out to the quarry but that he got into a fight with an alligator and it bit him."
I, of course, had to giggle feeling relieved it wasn't more serious since I understood immediately where he conjured that comment from.
She goes "Oh, it gets better. The first time I simply told him okay and let it go at that. After a little bit I asked him again about the scrapes. He told me again about the alligator. I told him that we didn't have alligators here and that he couldn't have done that. He didn't change his story."
She continued,"After a little bit I called him aside again and asked him about the scrapes. He still insisted it was an alligator, so I put him in time out. After letting him out of timeout and talking to him about lying and telling stories I again asked him how he got the scrapes. He got this really exasperated expression and goes. ............."
"OK! IT WAS A HIPPOPOTIMUS!"