Memory #2: The Chicken
Throughout childhood, we came across hoards of pets. Rabbits, turtles, cannibalistic fish, hamsters, more rabbits, a cats (both stray and domestic); the list goes on. The one animal that was at the backend of my mind when we had it, the one that made the least impression to me when I was a child, was the chicken. It was just there, in the background of our garden shrub. I couldn’t even remember it cluck.
Until a certain incident made it the most memorable of animals.
It was one of those mornings that had consequences if I was late. I’d misplaced a school item. Mom was urging me to hurry. The bus honked outside, grumbling and impatient. As soon as I found what I wanted, I was propelled out of the house by Mom, and I run like I was being chased by kids during Hide & Seek. Which, as it turned out seconds later, when I slipped on something, the world tilted and slid across the floor, was not the wisest idea. Then again, 6 year olds never were careful.
The first thing I was aware of was that the back of my leg was wet. “Water,” I thought before I peered at it. My morning would have been much smoother if it had been water. But the brown stain proved otherwise. And the stink that came with it. Mom ran out to see if I was alright, and while she cleaned me up as good and fast as the bus allowed her to, I never felt exactly right being on that bus, knowing what had just happened. I couldn’t stop smelling it on me.
It only got worse when a bus buddy turned to me and asked “Doesn’t it smell funny? Like shit?”
That was possibly the first time I wished the ground would offer a hole for me to jump in and disappear.