“He’s seen a murder!” Anita, my late aunt, looked at us with tear stricken, wide, red eyes. Standing in the living room of my aunt’s apartment were myself (I am thirteen at the time.), my mother, my then three-year-old sister Breanna, and Anita’s soon to be three-year-old Donald.
My mother and I looked at Anita in disbelief. “My baby saw someone get killed. He told me,” my aunt cried. At this point she is inconsolable. My mother and I, who’d come over after her cryptic announcement on the phone, looked from her to Donald in horror. “Tell them,” she shouted.
My cousin Donald, a chubby and jolly child starts saying just that. “Hide the bodies. Hide the bodies. Hide the bodies,” he sings in delight. Just then my sister, who had been bobbing her head the entire time, sang, “Wants to be a cat.” Anita, my mother, and I turned to my sister clearly confused.
Suddenly my mother burst out laughing at what Bre had known all along. “Anita,” she says calmly in between giggles. “He is not saying ‘hide the bodies.’ He is saying ‘everybody.” My sister claps and squeals in delight. “Awitocrats Aundie,” my sister says in garbled English. My aunt is still confused.
“Anita,” I interject, “He is singing a song from the movie Aristocats. You know the cartoon.” My mother burst into hysterical laughter. “You actually thought Donald saw a murder?” My aunt lets out a nervous chuckle. Then, we were all nearly in tears laughing. My sister and Donald clapped and sang in unison. “Everybody, everybody, everybody wants to be a cat.”