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Elephant Bells

They may have saved my life

By Grant WhitehurstPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
Elephant Bells
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Imagine, if you will, blue jeans that are fitted low on the hips, tight in the thighs, and balloon out at the bottom into giant “bells”. Yeah, elephant bells. The reason I ask you to imagine them is because I can find no free pictures of them to upload. The ones pictured above are modern and are way “over the top” with the flare, but they’re close. Now that you’ve imagined them with the help of the picture and the written description, you know what I’m talking about. Some of you remember them, some of you have seen the pictures in old family albums when we all looked like the “The Mod Squad”. But that’s a different story.

Now imagine a pair of leather sandals that capture the big toe with a single thin circle of leather with a thin leather strap that connects that big toe ring with the band that goes across the top of the foot. “Moses sandals” was a common name for them, but they had no formal name. Once again, no pictures of said sandals.

By Jen Theodore on Unsplash

Continuing on with your imagination, its a hot, humid day in Mid-Georgia. A seventeen year old boy is tending the family fruit stand with his two hound dogs. Very few customers are stopping. It’s a very rural setting and it’s a weekday. The month is June. The teenage boy is wearing those ridiculous looking pants described above, but they’re made of fabric with a paisley design. He’s also wearing a pair of those sandals described earlier.

All of a sudden, one of the little hound dogs goes running by. The teenager thinks little of it. Then, the other little hound goes zooming by. He smiles and thinks they’re playing a new game, even though the dogs are getting up in years and this is out of their character.

By Sandra Kapella on Unsplash

A few seconds later when one of the dogs runs by, he sees a yellow jacket on the dog’s head. The other dog runs by again and the boy sees a yellow jacket on his neck. He snickers. “So that explains it,” he thinks out loud. The boy finds it humorous once the dogs rid themselves of the antagonists. “I gotta tell Mama this funny story,” he thinks to himself.

By Krzysztof Niewolny on Unsplash

He follows the path back to the house. Before he can get there, he feels a burning sensation on his big toe. A bee sting! He looks down and sees yellowjackets swarming around his legs. The bells of his pants are covered with the angry insects. He doesn’t panic. He’s been stung many times before. He slowly gets away from the nest and at the same time drops his pants and runs the rest of the way to the house in his “tighty whities”. A couple of cars passed before he could get there and one of them blew its horn. It pulled into the fuit stand. He’d deal with them later.

Luckily, he got away with only two stings on his foot. Even though he’s not allergic to bee stings as far as he knows, stings numbering in the teens and twenties still have the potential of killing a young, viral male such as himself.

By Ken Hilton on Unsplash

As soon as gets into the house, he puts on another pair of pants. He elects not to tell his mother about the funny story of the dogs, and luckily she doesn’t see he come in in his “tighty whities”. He goes back outside and takes care of busines. He explains the funny experience to the customer. She winks at him and tells him she was glad to have witnessed such a sight. He blushes as she gets into the car with a cackling laugh.

He goes back to the area of the nest and pours gasoline into the underground entrance of the yellow jacket nest. Don’t judge. They don’t know any better in those days. He picks up his precious elephant bells and shakes them until he’s sure all of the yellowjackets are gone. He takes them inside and puts them in the washer. He could have burnt them where they lay, but they had after all, saved his life. If he’d been wearing his precious gym shorts and gym t-shirt that was cut-off at midriff to show off his toned abs, he would have been stung multiple times!

I miss those pants. Once I left home and joined the Army, most of my clothes disappeared from home. I didn’t miss the gym shorts or the cut-off gym shirt. That look was now considered “lame”. So were the elephant bells. But I’d love to have them so that I could proudly display them in a case. They may have saved my life.

The sandals played their role in the rescue as well. If I’d been wearing tennis shoes, one of the yellow jackets may not have alerted me to the impending danger with it’s sting. I’ve had a few more pairs of those sandals after that pair. They still make an appearance on the shelves of the shoe stores from time to time, but I haven’t seen any in a decade or so. But they’ll come back around. I’m not sure about the paisley printed elephant bells, though. I can only hope and wish that one day, I can get get all gussied up in a pair of comparable pants, blossomed sleeved shirt, Moses sandals and attend a high school reunion.


About the Creator

Grant Whitehurst

61 years on planet Earth

Graduate of Mercer University

Served my country. Showed a willingness to die for it. U.S Army

I study the paranormal, UFO’s and aliens, cryptids

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