Sunday, 10 August 2008

Milking a goat in a thunderstorm.

My mother developed eczema upon the death of my father, the doctor instructed her to avoid dairy products; not easy in our village, so she bought a goat. She called it 'Pomkin'. My job as a small boy (amongst all the other jobs) was to milk the damn thing. I loathed that goat.

In the November of my fifth year I was obliged to fetch milk for my mothers tea; a monstrous thunderstorm raged across the Low countries that night; The orchard momentarily lit by blinding flashes of lightening. Explosions of thunder would boom bronzily like Nabokov's dinner gong. Pompkin was in two minds as to which she hated most; the thunderstorm or my clumsy yanking at her dugs (the thought of those distended teats appalls me still). She chose to target me, lashing out with her hooves she landed a splendid kick to the centre of my forehead, rendering me unconscious for a short while. In falling I knocked over the milk pail and spilled my mothers precious milk, guaranteeing a beating when I returned to the house empty bucketed.

Since that day I have worn a triangular scar on my forehead and have had problems with my memory.

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