Burned Into Memory

It’s amazing, some of the memories that stay with you throughout your life. I’m not talking about those that had a profound impact and shaped your life as you know it. Rather, I am referring to the innocuous ones that may suddenly pop up into one’s mind many years later, leaving them wondering if it really happened or if it was just a dream. One such memory that I have is of an old cartoon that I watched on TV as a child. I never knew the title as I had stumbled upon it by chance while flicking channels one morning during the school holidays and my recollection of some of the scenes are rather hazy, but the way that it all unfolded is still clear in my mind.

The story begins with a beast of some sort passing by a complete stranger’s home during a morning stroll. I can’t quite recall if it was an anthropomorphic hippo, rhino, gorilla, bear or just some random monster conjured up by the artist, but he definitely wasn’t human. Having quickly surmised that no one is home he takes a quick peek inside through a window and spots an unguarded cake on the kitchen table, immediately triggering hunger pangs. He casually enters through the front door and devours the cake, enjoying every mouthful of it and if I remember correctly he then takes a page out of Goldilocks’ playbook and dozes off in the bedroom, having achieved food coma after scoffing that entire cake on his own.

Meanwhile the owner of the home, a creature similar to the intruder, returns to his humble abode following his own morning walk. He walks through the front door that he had failed to lock before leaving and was predictably furious upon discovering that a stranger had broken into his home and eaten his precious cake before sleeping on his bed. He immediately sets out to find the culprit, huffing and puffing with rage all the way.

Oooohhhh I’ma put hands on that fool!

Yeah well, serves you right for not locking up your house in the first place, buddy.

The hungry thief had conveniently left a trail of footprints in his wake as he fled into the surrounding forest and the homeowner follows the trail with vengeance on his mind and that brings us to the part that made me laugh as a child and is forever burned in my memory; The homeowner initially follows the trail on foot but sometime along the way, the footprints eventually became a trail of hand prints and the homeowner actually does a handstand and continues to follow the trail while walking on his hands! It then transitions into a combination of hand and footprints and so he drops down on all fours and bear-crawls the next few steps before the trail changes into single footprints that he hops along to as though he is playing hopscotch in the playground. The homeowner continues to follow this trail, his movements dictated by the prints before him, unaware that the thief is watching him from behind some bushes, laughing at the wild goose chase that he had set his patsy on while making him look ridiculous in the process. Talk about getting away with murder and then some.

And that was that. Following that short cartoon I switched off the TV and set off to play computer games. I never would have thought then, as a ten year old, that I’d still remember the best bits of some random cartoon that I ran into by chance many years later as a grown adult. The mind is quite an amazing thing, isn’t it? One thing’s for sure, that cartoon drilled home into my young mind the importance of keeping one’s home safe and secure. You just never know if or when some thief who is adept at walking on their hands and feet might be itching to steal something of yours.

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