Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Friday, April 04, 2014

C Is For Carrots And Chicken

During April, many bloggers participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. This is my first year. I'll post twenty-six excerpts from Loved As If, one for each letter of the alphabet, every day except Sunday.
You’re old enough to help me with dinner, the woman announced from the playroom door. You’ve had your nap and finished your homework; you can read later. I want you to peel the carrots. I looked up from my book, eyes wide, my mouth a straight, serious line. She turned and walked to the kitchen. I followed. Wrapped in a big apron, I stood on the stool. My head felt light, the kitchen wobbled. Use the peeler like this, she showed me how to peel away from myself. When you’re finished, you can scoop all the peelings into the bin. The metal implement soon became slippery. Ahhh! I cried out and dropped the peeler. Blood dripped onto the peelings in the sink. Let me see. I held my shaking hand up. It’s just a little scrape. Don’t be a baby. She jerked my finger under the running tap water. She looked up at my face, Why are you crying? It hurts, I whimpered. You’re too big to cry over a little scrape, her voice was firm. You don’t want to be a cry baby, do you? I wiped my eyes with the back of my uninjured hand. The carrot juice stung. I sniffed hard, my shoulders shaking. You want to be a little soldier for Jesus, don’t you? her voice remained firm. Yes, I said softly. Then you mustn’t cry over every little thing.

Mommy I., Lyssa’s voice called out. Can you help me with my homework? Finish the carrots, the woman told me. I’ll check them when I return. Once the carrots were peeled, I used my uninjured hand to make several trips back and forth to the bin dropping many of them on the floor. I sighed as I bent over to clean the floor, I’ll never finish. Standing upright again, the room swirled about me, sparks of colour exploded and then the room faded to dark grey; my suddenly head ached. I leaned against the cupboard until the room resolved into its usual coloured blur. I opened the cupboard and filled my pockets with Crispy Treats. About to return to the playroom, I espied two unwrapped chickens in a pan on the counter.

They look like little people with no heads and no feet, I told my Friend. I dragged the kitchen stool to the counter that held the chickens and climbed up onto my knees. Hi chickens! I told them brightly. Do you want to play? I balanced one on the stump of its legs. Would you like a walk, I asked the chicken as I used the wrist of my injured hand to support the chicken and moved it’s legs with the unharmed one. I held it up by its outspread wings, You want to fly away, don’t you? You don’t really want to be eaten, do you? Footsteps sounded in the dining room. I hurriedly replaced the chicken in its pan and dragged the stool back to the sink.

I’m all done, I told the woman. And all cleaned up too, her voice sounded glad. Well, she looked closely at the pile of peeled carrots, I suppose you could have been a bit more thorough but this isn’t bad for a first attempt. Now you may go play or read. May I visit Angela, my stomach sank below my knees. The woman looked up at the clock on the wall, I think half an hour would be okay. But wash your hands first, put on your sweater and be sure to thank Angela’s mother for having you over. I skipped to Angela’s house after stopping under the porch to share my Crispy Treats with Shooey.

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