Daddy the magician
When you’re a child, there are so many things that you just don’t know about your parents. Like Paul describes our Earthly understanding of God, we see our parents through a glass darkly. We know their names and features; we may even understand what they do for a living and who they voted for. But adults are complex creatures, their full depths unknowable to their children.
Take my Daddy for instance: I knew he loved country music and horses from an early age, and I understood his day job was security. His politics were easy to discern, as were his opinions on a myriad of other topics.
It wasn’t until I was nearly a preteen, however, that I discovered that Daddy was also a magician.
My brother and some of his friends had caught some fish down in the Cumberland River near our house, and he brought them home for us to have for supper. I don’t recall where Mama was that night, so it was up to Daddy to cook the day’s catch.
This being before Google, Daddy called Nana for step by step instructions on how to pan fry the fish, and to the best of our knowledge, he followed her recipe as closely as possible.
Somewhere in there, though, a detail got lost in translation, because the outcome was different than I’d seen before or since. We looked over into that frying pan, and every piece of that fish had vanished from the face of the earth.
No abracadabras or alakazams were uttered and no spell was cast. One second the fish were there, the next they were gone. It was like the cooling pie stolen from the window sill, except the windows were shut and there wasn’t a hobo for miles.
As far as I know, Daddy retired from the magic business after that night, because the only other time I’ve seen him make some catfish disappear was at the table with a fork and a knife. It’s a shame really; I think he’d do real well at kids birthday parties.