TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Not Your Mama’s Flower Garden





With this new year, I’m turning more of my focus into making Story Catcher Publishing the best little publishing company I can. My company’s motto is “catching great stories…together” and to that end, every Monday from now on I will be sharing a little story from my childhood growing up around the swamps of Louisiana. I promise every story is true and maybe you will even discover a little bit of your own childhood in my TALES FROM THE BAYOU…




There was nowhere else my mother would rather have been than outside. Born and raised on a farm in the Ozarks, my mother taught me at an early age to appreciate the beauty Nature could provide…especially with it’s flowers.

Every year my mother would faithfully look through the Burpee Seed catalog and plan two things. One, which vegetables to plant in her family’s veggie garden. And two, a new batch of tulip bulbs to plant in a garden created solely for her own viewing and smelling pleasure.

My mother loved tulips and had a small garden of them right outside the door of our house at 407 McMurtry Street. She also liked to plant them around the base of the large tree standing in the front yard. Every year I could count on those lovely reds, yellows, and other shades of tulip sunshine to brighten my mornings.

One year, however, Mother noticed the tulip bulbs she planted around the tree base had been dug up by some mysterious creature. Not to be outdone by what she thought was a stray cat, Mother planted some more in the same spot. Within a week all that was left were a few pieces of chewed up leaves and newly clawed up earth. What in the world was eating her tulips?

It didn’t take long to discover who the mystery invader of Mother’s flower garden was. Early one Spring morning my mother stepped outside to tend to her veggie garden when she startled a family of armadillos as they were making their way back from a forage through her tulip bed. Dumbfounded at the sight, Mother could only stare as mother armadillo and her babies scurried out of sight under the house.

On one hand she was glad to discover the mystery tulip thief, but on the other she had no clue on how to get rid of them. She didn’t have to wonder for long as Mother Nature decided to take matters into her own hands.

Shortly after the discovery of the armadillo family, Mother noticed stray cats no longer meandered through our yard. While it never had been a huge problem, still it was surprising to not see any at all. It was about that same time we started hearing strange, menacing noises coming from under the house.

Soft and low at first, the sound would increase in volume until the deep throated rumbling roar could be heard clearly all the way over to the surrounding neighbor’s yards. This went on for days and the cats continued to disappear until Mother finally figured out what was causing that demonic sound coming from under our floorboards.

She called the local game warden and requested he come to the house to pick up the 8 foot alligator who decided to make our yard his new home. And the armadillo family? Well, I’m sorry to say they made a tasty snack for that old alligator, but at least Mother got her tulips back…







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International best selling, award-winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy), is now available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers.

Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

2 thoughts on “TALES FROM THE BAYOU: Not Your Mama’s Flower Garden

  • January 15, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    The alligator found its way under the house during a flood. The night it rained so much, I had to abandon my car and wade through the knee high flood water to cross main street. A very unsettling thought when we found out we had the gator under the house.


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