I been fooling with y’all younguns all day. Now your mama and papa call ay they gone be late. And leave me to deal with y’all half the night? Naw sir! It’s time for y’all younguns to go to bed. Say what? You old enough to do what? Gone tell me this is California? Like I don’t know. I been many places and younguns is younguns in any place. Y’all got a place. To bed is your place this time of night. Y’all just kids. Think y’all something. Well, I know something will put you under the covers quick. Ain’t nowhere but under the covers will keep away the crocogator. Y’all been where? And y’all say ya’ll too old for fairytales? Ain’t talking ’bout no fairytale. Crocogator eat up ever fairy he see. Listen do y’all younguns know the tell of the crocogator? What ? Y’all never heard of one? Why crocogators the baddest cat in Harlem. Don’t tell me ’bout this is the west coast. I been out here a while and I ain’t never seen no cat out here bad as ol’ crocogatyor. I heara y’all got rattle snakes out here but we been dealing with snakes since Eden. They ain’t nothing new and nothing to be scaraed of. Just don’t take no apples from them though. Once we had a ol; cowboy met up with a crocogator on Lennox Ave. cowboy try to wrangle him but cowboy don’t know crocogator got teeth at both ends. So cowboy bend over to tie crocogataors hind legs and got his nose bit off. Will y’all younguns hush? Lealve it to y’all to ask how he let loose with teeth at both ends. He don’t. that’s what makes him so mean. Now hush. I’ll tell yy’all ’bout a crocogator name Stackodaddy. Stackodaddy had a woman and…I told y’all younguns to hush. Askin questions like that young as y’all is. Don’t know how they did it. Got sense enough not to ask. And y’all reckin he would tell me? I’m just telling what I seen. I got eyes in the back of my head and can see legends and things what ain’t quite true. But I ain’t gonna get my nose bit off asking no crocogator ’bout his business with no woman. Anyway stackodaddy had a woman. And she was just as bad as he was. Woman name of Stella. Six feet tall and black as the ace of spades. Stackodaddy try to make Stella mind like thaty say a woman s’[pose to do. I reckon they didn’t have Stella in mind when they made that rule. She sure didn’t seem to know. Stackodaddy do what he can. He say “Stell, I don’t want you wearing your nelkline so low. Ain’t kno other mens got no business looking at youa Stella take off her shirt right there and go outside in her brassiere..I knowed I shouldn'ta mention that word front of you. Just say brassiere and y'all have a fit. Silly chillun. Thought you was so grown. Anyway, she say “Daddy Stack, it‘s my business” Stackodaddy say “”Stella, you see all these teeth. Now you come back in here and don‘t you do that no more.” see even the baddest cat in Harlem ain’t nothing in the hands of a bad woman. Stella laugh. She wave at the postman. Stackodaddy ask Stella why she so mean. She say cuz if she try to be nice to him he probly get tired of her and go find somebody else. She knew him up and down. Knew his mama couldn't breast feed him with all them teeth. Yeah, he was born with 'm. He chewed up his bottle and ate it. Ate a bbq side of beef at two months old. Ate up his warden at twenty years old. By time he was thirty five men had bullets with his PIM number on 'm. He brandished a big pepsodent smile when he took them all out--and I don't mean to dinner. One day Stackodaddy think about his life. He think about having a bunch a little crocogators aaround to pass on his legend. He knowed Stella was the only woman what could handle a brood of crocogataors without getting herself ate up so he ask her to marry him. He buy her a ’gagement ring and go down to the tall woman’s store for a bunch of lacey underclothesbut Stella say no, she gone go to school. Gone get a education and do something with herself. Wasn’t nothing he planned to do with her. Stackodaddy let loose on both ends. He cuss for three days. He think ’bout tying Stella up and calling the preacher to his house. But he ain’t never yet raised his hand at Stella. And I ain’t saying he ws scared to. Ol’ crocogator ain’t scared of nothing. He just ain’t never get around to doing it. He see a friend fall on his knees and beg his woman to marry him. She did but that’s something else a crocogator don’t do. So Stella ddetermined she gone go to school and Stackodaddy have to deal with his own heart. These was strannge feelings Stackodaddy hadn’t knowed he was capable of. He almost cried crocogator tears but he caught hisself, hitched up his britches. Packed up his grip and headed west looking for something new. First thing he noticed about California was the funny looking trees. The looked like God used them to put on his shaving crème. And all the houses was flat on the ground. You didn’t have to climb stairs to get to the bedrooms. Y’all younguns know how the houses is you live in. made of that stucco. Look like corn meal. look like it would crumble away. Not solid like a brick. Anyway Stackodaddy find hisself a place near some railroad tracks. Didn’t mind the trains at night cuz he wasn’t hardly home nohow. One day he find hisself at home sleeping off this new stuff called tequila. Didn’t take much taquila to kill anything but a crocogaor. But that’s something y’all don’t need to know nothing ’bout except to stay away from it. Anyiway he ws half sleep when it feel like a train come by. Musta been a powerful big train. Musta had a hundred cars cuz the ground just roll on and on. The dresser fell over and something crash in the kitch. And the bed just go THUMP THUMP UMP BUMP. Stackodaddy wonder to hisself what kinda train is this? He stagger caross the floor--stagger worse than taquila. He looked out the window. Didn’t see know train but the whole ground was stumping at thhe Savoy. Crocogator ain’t scared of nothing but he jump out the window cuz he don’t want to be buried in no cornmeal. He see somebody flailing around in the dark. He say "What the hell's going down?" Somebody say "Your roof is going down. dummy." "Oh se you a little signifying monkey is you. Well I'll kick your...." Monkey say "You'll kiss what?" Stackodaddy do more'n kiss him. He eat'm up. Stackodaddy might shook up but he ain’t scared of nothing. He look around town cuz he miss having a woman with Stella back home getting educated. He see somebody he might like and ask her for her phone number. She just give it to him like she been waiting all her life. She say “When you gone call me?“ He say “When you gone be home?” She say “When ever you want.” Stackodaddy think to hisself Stella wouldn’t never say nothing like that. Stella make a man say when will I see you again. The baddest do in Harlem got to be the baddest dude west of the Pecos and cain’t do with a crème puff woman. Woman made of corn meal. he sashay away as fast as he can for she get eat up by little crocogators. He look around for a coule years then one day the baddest woman in Harlem step cross his threshold. She say she found him in the phone book. He say he thought she was getting educated. She say she got the ‘sociate degree and gone finish in L. A. ‘Sides Harlem ain’t the same without the crocogator. He say he believe she right. They get married and have a bunch of little crocogators. Like y’all younguns they thought they was bad. Gone be like their daddy and not be scared of nothing. They didn’t wanta to go to bed neither but he got them teeth ata both ends and he get them coming and going. He put them in the bed and make them get under the covers. He say anything what ain’t under the covers will get bit off. Why y’all younguns ain’t in bed yet? What is y’all itching for a switching. Don’t yo’all know crocogator still in town? Y’all begging for a legging. He maybe live right down the street. And he go round like Santy Clause to make sure all tlhe younguns is under the cover. Now git. Don’t let me have to tell you again. I’ll call him. I’ll sho’ call him.