Childhood revisited – The memory that won’t go away


This is not the first memory I have from my childhood, but this is one that stands out in my mind and helped to define the relationship with my brother that would continue for years to come.

I still recall the most minor of details that day and I was all of five years old.  Oakville was a seemingly small city in 1974 and the streets were safe enough that my brother and I could walk ourselves to and from school without parental supervision.  The day was crisp, the sun filtered through the autumn leaves and reflected jagged pieces of warm light onto the lawns and sidewalks.  School had been fun that day and I was anxious to regale my brother with tales of arts and crafts and have him dispel the myth of why some kids eat paste.  He was nine – he would surely be more privy to that information than a mere five year old girl.

The two of us began our journey home, and as I skipped along beside him I expounded about my day.  I had become quite ensconced in my own story and somewhere along the way I realized he was not beside me any longer.  I slowed my pace and heard him behind me, fiddling with a wrapper on what I had assumed was a stashed piece of candy from my beloved Shoreline Variety Store.  The sound of the wrapper immediately piqued my attention and halted the story I had become so engrossed in telling.

oh henry

I turned to find him holding out a piece of candy and remember thinking how generous it was for him to share.  It was surely a treat that would have been frowned on by my parents, but that made it all the more intriguing.  I gladly took the candy, and as I began to bring the treasured morsel to my lips, he stood stoic, waiting for me to take the first bite.

As my teeth sank into the delicacy that my brother had so graciously shared, his laughter pierced my eardrums before the pungent flavor assaulted my taste-buds.  His gales of laughter floated through the autumn winds as I tried frantically to remove every shrapnel of excrement from my mouth.  My brother had fed me a piece of dog shit.

I don’t think even Forrest Gump would have outrun me on the way home that day.  I sprinted past the crossing guard and could barely see the sidewalk for the tears.  I could hear my brother panting behind me, trying to catch up to me before I was able to cross the threshold of our home and explain to my mother how my taste-buds had been violated by a heinous act of terrorism.  I’m sure my words were not nearly as eloquent as I would like to think they were, but she got the point, and he got the spanking.

This simple act of cruelty led to years of pranks and retribution, usually always at my expense.  Not so many years later, because I seemingly still adored him, emulated him and worshipped the ground he walked on, I was easily swayed into helping knock a beehive from the side of our garage with a hockey stick.  Forrest Gump, again, would have been proud of my speed and agility getting to the old station wagon.  Long story short, there was a lot of baking soda required that afternoon to cover all of the puncture wounds those bees left in my body.

Thankfully my days of naiveté are over and I am perpetually careful around my dear brother.  And he may not know this, unless he reads this post, but I am still plotting my revenge!!

Written in response to the Daily Post Challenge.