Grandma Minnie

We could hear Grandma Minnie scream all the way from inside the house. My friend Janice and I were out side searching for more baby turtles to boil the guts out of and make Cub Scout neckerchief slides. Grandma Minnie had discovered the batch we had boiling on the stove, and I knew there was going to be hell to pay. I told Janice to go home and I stayed to face the music.

I opened the door and there stood my tall, red-haired Grandma looking at me like I had lost my mind. "For gods sake Morrie, what in the hell is in this pan on the stove?" I tried to explain how we made the slides out of the shells, but with the live baby turtles still swimming in the boiling water, my words were falling on deaf ears. "What the hell is that smell?" Grandma Minnie inquired, and I knew she had gotten a whiff of the varnish we used to coat the turtle shells for the finishing touch. She looked on the counter and saw the line of finished products we had carefully laid out on a newspaper. She said, "They are kind of pretty. What are you going to do with them?" I knew she had calmed down a little, so I told her we were planning on selling them. She smiled and said, "Clean up this mess before your Mother gets home." I breathed a sigh of relief because I thought I was off the hook and it would be our secret -- but I was wrong. This was too good to keep to herself.

As soon as my mother got home Grandma said, "You will never believe what he did today!" She told the story, adding that she found it hard to believe there was anything in the Cub Scout manual about anything as cruel as boiling live baby turtles on her stove, and I must have dreamed it up all by myself. I stood there only dreading the punishment that was going to be coming to me any time. Then I realized my mom was laughing too hard to say any thing, until she finally turned to me and said, "There is only one like you, Morrie."

The following day I told Janice we were out of business.