How the Word is Passed (with apologies to Clint Smith)

I’m intentional about it with my grandsons. I take every damn opportunity to repeat what my grandparents said to me. Even if it’s a simple, “Show me your money bags!” as I studied a lizard with an obvious pouch beneath her chin.

My two grandsons halted beside me on the front porch.

“What are you doing?” the oldest asked. I explained how Mamo would say that phrase to lizards. In response, they would puff out their bright red pouch.

We waited. The bark brown lizard—lizards in New Orleans don’t look like lizards in Mamo’s Hinds County, Mississippi—inflated its bag. But only a bit.

“Okay,” the youngest said, and continued on into the house.

As a friend always said, Godzilla ain’t nothing but a big lizard.

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