As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries: The Adventures of Little Paintbrush and Snake Money
The summer of 1952, Lawton, Oklahoma… Eight-year-old Glory has a father who’s taken out a $50,000 accidental death insurance policy on her—now he’s spending the summer trying to collect.
In his first attempt, he throws Glory to the snakes, but a giant alligator snapping turtle scares the snakes away. There really are turtles this big in Oklahoma! Glory writes in her diary: Well, Powwow Pete drove us home to talk to Mom, but we didn’t get very far. Mom thinks I just have a wild imagination. At least Powwow Pete believes me. I think it was the turtle that killed it for Mom.
“How could there be a turtle that big?” she scoffed. They talked some more and Powwow Pete, a Comanche, got kind of mad and got up to leave.
This was one of those times when a kid thinks they’re talking about a turtle, but the grown-ups are really talking about something else entirely. In this case, I think Powwow Pete was accusing Mom of still loving my dad, but he never said that, he just kept talking about the turtle. Mom was doing the same thing: talking about the turtle but meaning that she didn’t want to get messed up with some guy who was a pathologgy liar (Glory can’t spell). Remembrances of growing up in Oklahoma in the 1950s, fictional autobiography, finalist in the 2004 Oklahoma Book Awards. I swear, at least every other word is true!