Things That Are True About Florida (as reported by the Barnhill kids)

“In Florida,” Ella announced, “all alligators become human at night. Or mostly human. Everyone knows this. Their skin is too bumpy and they have too many teeth and they don’t like it at all. They’re in a terrible temper. All alligators are were-alligators. They’re werlligators.”

“In Florida,” Cordelia added, “they only have nice weather when relatives are visiting. As soon as they leave it snows. They only have good weather because they’re showing off.” 

“In Florida,” Leo explained, “swamp gas is just the smell of God farting.”

Ella: “And the shells are the remains of pirate gold. It was transformed into shells because of magic, and if you can just figure out the right incantation, you’ll be rich.”

Cordelia: “In Florida, bugs fly into your ears and crawl into your brain, and then you think buggy thoughts and dream buggy dreams.

Leo: “In Florida, the eels grow legs and slither out of the water and right into your bed and slime up your feet.”

Ella: “In Florida, there are more mermaids than people.”

Cordelia: “In Florida, dolphins can vote.”

Leo: “In Florida, the ghosts of dead pirates play cards on people’s porches and sometimes in the dining room. And they cheat.”

Ella: “In Florida, the cacti can talk. But you don’t want to actually talk to them because they are foul-mouthed and prickly tempered.”

Cordelia: “In Florida, the babies are raised by birds. They aren’t returned to their human mommies until the birds are absolutely sure that the babies can’t fly.”

Leo: “I love Florida.”

Ella and Cordelia: “Me too. Let’s never leave.”


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