Whitesburg KY

Little children are friendly, inquisitive

While working at Pest Control back in the ’70s, I met a lot of real nice folks who I like to call my friends. Included in all these nice folks were children whom I came to love dearly.

Some of the smaller ones would run up to me and put their little arms around my legs and look up at me wanting me to pick them up, which usually I did if only for a moment. I had a pretty tight schedule to keep but I always found time for my little friends. If I couldn’t remember them by name I would just call them “Peanut”, which seemed to satisfy most of them, but not all.

One day as I made my rounds I encountered one who didn’t like being called Peanut at all. It was a little girl about three years of age. When I said, “Hello, Peanut”, she put her hands on her hips and said, “I ain’t no peanut.” So I made it a point to not call her Peanut anymore. I started calling her “Pretty Girl” and she seemed to like that pretty well.

Even if I didn’t get their names right they would still follow me around holding their nose all the while. The grownups would refer to me as the exterminator but the little ones referred to me as the “bug man.” They could ask questions faster than I could answer them, such as what kind of bug is that and will it bite, why does it smell so bad? But after I finished my work and started to leave they would always say, “Bye, Mr. Bug Man.”

I especially enjoyed Christmas time because they would often hand me a cookie or two or a couple pieces of candy wrapped in whatever they could come up with from Reynolds Wrap to pages out of a magazine. Those little gift offerings meant more to me than those little children will ever know.

Most of the children I came into contact with hadn’t started in school yet, but they sure had an inquisitive nature to be so young. Some of them would be very shy at first but after they got used to me they would really get wound up, especially if nobody interfered with them asking questions.

One little girl almost got scarred for life. There was a pan on the stove with hot cooking oil in it and while nobody was in the kitchen she reached up and tilted the pan over to see what was in it and poured some of it on her. But she had bib overalls on and the bib caught most of it. Because it was oil instead of water it didn’t penetrate the fabric as quickly as it would have with water. She was a brave little tikem though. She would walk around holding the front of her overalls out away from her body but kept right on chattering.

The little boys were the ones who would wrap their arms around my legs and want to be picked up, I think they were just needing a little attention, which I was glad to give them.

Lttle children are innocent and precious, God’s little angels.

Relon Hampton, down on the funny farm.

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