One day, Daddy Charley, the hurricane, his spouse Frances, the tropical depression, and their offspring Ranger, the tornado, were sitting on their thundercloud with nothing to do, when suddenly Charley, the hurricane, gave a mighty howl, and said, “Listen up, Family, it’s time we did something worthwhile.”
“What do you have in mind, Dear?” said Frances, the tropical depression, used to Charley’s rantings and ravings. Secretly she thought of him as just a bag of wind.
“We’ve been hearing the weatherman giving those humans lots of warning I’m coming to visit, but a lot of them are pooh-poohing the warnings. I think it’s about time I paid those complacent people in Hardee County a visit.”
“Goody, Daddy Charley, may I go with you?” This from Ranger who was not used to Charley’s whims.
"Now, Charles, do you think he’s big enough?” Frances only used his full name when she was aggravated with him.
“Of course he’s big enough,” Charley, the hurricane, howled. “Now listen carefully. Here’s the plan. Ranger, you come with me. If you can’t keep up with me, that’s alright. Do the best you can. If you get tired, just jump on the nearest rain cloud and it’ll take you home. Frances, the tropical depression, I have a job for you, too.”
“What do you think I can do. I just better stay here and make sure our thunder cloud doesn’t move. If it does, we might not be able to find it. And I have it fixed up so cute.”
“I think it would be a good idea if you stayed here, too. But next weekend you can hit the same area with a severe thunderstorm. So strong those humans will think they’ve been hit by me again.”
“That’s a wonderful idea, Charley.” He’s really going to do something but rant this time, Frances gleefully thought to herself. Aloud she
said, “I’ll stay here and soak up enough ammunition I’ll even make the Peace River overflow its banks.”
“That’s a really wet idea, Frances.” Turning to Ranger, Charley said, “We’ll wait until late afternoon. We’ll land in Charlotte County, hit DeSoto County really hard on our way through, and we should hit Hardee County right around supper time.” Having said that Charley took a nap to gain all the strength he could get, and Ranger curled up beside him.
Charley woke up and said to his offspring, “Let’s go, Ranger. Do what you can.”
As they hurtled through space, with massive growlings and blasts of wind, Charley motioned Ranger to head down. They landed at Punta Gorda, and left devastation in their wake. They didn’t spare Port Charlotte either, causing havoc every place Charley unleashed his wind. Ranger did a good job too, picking up garbage cans and hurling them through space so far some of them would never be found.
When they came to Desoto County, Charley motioned to Ranger, encouraging him to do his best. When they left Arcadia they had blown the roof off the new civic center, and watched gleefully as hundreds of evacuees searched for suitable cover. They did a number on many of the businesses
and most of the homes.
Then they were headed for Hardee County. Charley had no time for complacent people, and he thought the Hardee County people were the most complacent that he had ever met. You’d think they would’ve learned their lesson when my grandmother Donna, herself a hurricane, went through back in 1960, he thought to himself.
When they left Hardee County the number of roofs destroyed, the number of trailers totaled, and the Main Street businesses wiped out, made Charley, the hurricane, know he had done a credible job.