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When I was little, I thought that there were giant alligators came out from under the bed at night that would eat me if my arms or legs dangled off the bed, and I was afraid to go to sleep…and when I did (no suprise) I had bad dreams.

Finally, after a week or two of crawling into bed with my mom, she asked me at breakfast “What are alligators afraid of?”  My four year-old self replied, without thinking, “Loud noises and big dogs…….and they probably don’t like pink either” (ah, the logic of small children…lol).

After supper my mother brought me a piece of poster board and helped me draw and cut out a big dog (I think it was a St Bernard), and she brought me a pot and a wooden spoon, and she was holding a spritz bottle with bright pink liquid (it turns out, alligators *don’t* like pink). 

We went into my bedroom, and my mother took the spritzer and sprayed under the bed, in the closet and all of the other dark corners where invisible giant alligators that only come out at night might hide.  We banged the pot with the wooden spoon, stomped around my room, and chanted for the alligators to go away and never come back.  And, before she tucked me in, she propped up the cut out of the big dog, to stand guard over me when I went to sleep.

And, I’ll be damned, but those alligators have stayed away ever since.


…and I have believed in magic ever since.