What Could Have Been

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Childhood Revisited.”

She started down the stairs. She carried a basket of clothes that needed to be washed. She wore a robe, a housecoat type bathrobe and it must have been too large for her because it dragged on the ground.  I watched her go down the steps, I watched her from the railing by the top step, and asked her if I could help. She screamed at me that she could do it herself.  I watched as she descended one step at a time until she slipped. She stepped on her robe and slipped and the basket flew and she fell, landing on her back, sliding down the stairs, down she went  until she finally stopped. She hollered at me that she could not move.

I called the ambulance. I called my dad.  They took her on a board out the window. Did she break her back?  Did I do the right thing? What else could I have done? I waited and watched her until help came.

She told my dad that I pushed her.  That I had pushed her down the stairs. She told him it was my fault she slipped and fell down the stairs and hurt her back. It was not broken. I still wonder if she faked the whole thing.  I think she told her story so that I was made to move out to live another life. She hated me.

If I had pushed her, I suppose I could have gone to prison.  I did not go to prison. I did not push her. I only wanted to help her. Dad must have loved her more than me. Or maybe he just wanted me to be safe and away from her?

I was thirteen. I was just a child.  Sometimes I wonder what could have been…



In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Menagerie.”

One cat, two chickens, and a multitude of wild birds make up the Menagerie around here.  Though the multitude of birds which  feast at feeders I continually fill are not ‘pets’ I feel it is my responsibility to provide them with  fresh water and food.   They provide enjoyable hours of entertainment but sadness when I find that some predator has had a snack. My flock of chickens began with eight, which have dwindled to two, the six being taken one by one from unknown chicken problems. Tears trickled down my face as I buried each one, marking their grave with a large stone but thankful they were not picked off by a hawk,  fox or coyote.

 At this moment in time, my one inside pet is a cat I did not want, especially soon after bidding farewell to a unique cat named Austin who would  bring us gifts of leaves collected by him in the woods near our house.  MeatBall who is now an elderly cat, named by my son quite simply because he (son) was eating spaghetti and meatballs while thinking of what name to give him.  Meatball, sometimes referred to as ‘Ball of Meat’ by my brother, also on occasion is known as, Meats, Meat Head, or Meaty. He wakes us in the morning by pulling the covers off,  greets us at the door when we come home from being away, will perch himself on the back of my desk chair while I work, waiting patiently for me to give him the        attention he desires and his favorite place to sleep at night is in the crook of my knees.           I know the day will come when once again I must bid farewell to a beloved pet, but for today,                                                                                                                  I will just love him.