Where are you from?
I had a colorful childhood in Trinidad, an island in the Caribbean, where I remember dodging quicksand pits on the beach, riding out typhoons, and earthquakes that bounced the house better than a Ping-Pong ball. The windows were always open, the breeze always blew and we slept under cotton mesh nets and burned coils to keep the insects off of us. I had a pet snail whose shell was bigger than an adult’s closed fist. When he finally slime-trailed away, escaping the walled yard, I remember being quite devastated. But being a child, I rebounded quickly, and recall a pet butterfly that used to ride with me for some time, never leaving the handlebar of my enormous bicycle. It was a monarch. I’m not sure monarchs are endemic to Trinidad, so he may have blew there on one hell of a trade wind. His shell-shocked state upon arrival might explain his hesitance to leave the handlebar of my bike.
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