Little green man

Published 2:00 am Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mama never believed that a man walked on the moon.

She would stand looking at the moon, bright and full, and say, “Now, you can’t tell me that a man has ever walked up there.”

She firmly believed that the “man on the moon” thing was a government conspiracy designed to beat the Russians to the punch.

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Mama would have come closer to believing that the moon was made of green cheese than that man walking on the moon “baloney.”

But, she was 100 percent certain that she had seen a little green man running across a pasture in early summer when she was a little girl.

Mama told the story of the little green man over and over. On the 100th time, she told it exactly as she had told it the first time. A sign of a true tale.

What Mama told was that it was a warm summer day and wildflowers were blooming everywhere. She was skipping across the pasture and stopped to gather flowers in her dress tail.

She was bending down picking flowers, when she saw something moving in the grass. Not knowing what it might be, she kept as still as a church mouse. Then, she saw it, as plain as the nose on her face – a little green man. A little naked green man. He stopped and looked right straight at her. Eye to eye, as if he were memorizing her face. Then, he scampered off toward the tree line. She lost sight of him as he disappeared into the trees. She ran home to tell her mama what she had seen.

My grandmother said Mama came running into the house and told her that she had seen a little, naked green man running across the pasture and into the woods. That was Mama’s story as a little girl and she never wavered from it.

“I know what I saw,” Mama would say.

Logic would have it that the little naked green man was actually a lizard of some kind but Mama would have nothing of that. “I know what I saw. Don’t you think I know a little naked green man when I see one?”

Not knowing Mama’s experience with little naked green men or naked men, for that matter, I did not answer that.

After the moon landing, Daddy teased a doubting Mama that if little green men were running on earth that “astro-nut” men could certainly be walking on the moon.

Mama didn’t have much to say about that.

Daddy said he didn’t believe Mama’s story any more than a man in the moon.

I don’t know what Mama saw that day running across the flower-scattered pasture. It was probably a lizard and her childhood imagination just ran away with her. But she believed that it was a little naked green man and, who am I to doubt my mama?

On late early summer afternoons, I often walk out to the pasture and stand, as if waiting for the sun to set, but really I’m hoping to see a little, naked green man running across the pasture and, like Mama, I’ll know one when I see it.