Once when I was a little boy I lost my parents. I was not quite three years old but I was pondering how it was that I could lose my parents. I wasn’t sure exactly what I did, but one day I had a family and the next day it was just my younger sister Susan and me. I didn’t have a family anymore. It happened like this.
One day a car pulled up in front of the house and parked at the end of the short sidewalk. I was looking through the screen of the front door and saw the woman get out of her car, walk up the sidewalk and knock on the front door. Mommy told her my name was Chris but that “we call him “Little Tyke,” Mommy was holding little Susan when she reached out to the stranger. The woman smiled and held little Susan and mom said that she had gathered all of our things together and that we should go with her. Mom seemed sad, but daddy wasn’t there. And just like that we walked out of the house and into the woman’s car where were taken to another place where she said we would stay for a while. I didn’t know what that meant but for some reason we went to a different place and never went back home. I’m not sure what Susan or I did, but we never saw my mom, dad or my older brother ever again.
The new people were nice enough. They had a grownup son who didn’t have much to do with me. They called me Tyke–cause that’s what the lady told them to do. But that was the name my daddy used and it never felt the same.
It was better that way I suppose. Mom was a waitress who didn’t make much money and daddy couldn’t keep a job for long. He and I got along well enough, but mom and him fought all of the time. He would drink, become angry, leave the home and come back a few days later after he had lost his job.
Those days are a blur. I do remember being spanked in the bathroom with a ruler, drinking water from a red pitcher and running around in a small living room. That’s it. That’s all I remember until the monkey house.
The Monkey House
One day I looked out the front window and saw the same car that took me from moms pulling up in front of this house too. The same woman knocked on the front door and once again Susan and me were sitting in her car and driving away. I don’t know who it was that took care of us, I never saw them again either.
The lady drove us to the Fair Park Zoo. We walked a short distance to the animals and stopped in front of the monkeys. The woman came up to a nice looking man and woman with black hair. They had a little blond-headed girl with them. The little girl didn’t say anything but she seemed nice enough. The big man stooped down to may level and said “Hi little buddy, “Do you know who I am? I’m your new daddy!” I didn’t know who he was but he seemed very nice and soon the woman who drove us to the zoo had left but not before she said that she’d check up on us in a few days.