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By Fatimah Bashir

“Mimi, would you stop talking for a minute?” Mother always scolded me because I was a talkative. As a child, I talked nonstop about any and everything to anyone who cared to listen. Now I know, no one listened. I was actually a nuisance.

As a child I was not naughty like most kids and I was not obedient either. I was just observant and asked a lot of questions. Questions like-where do babies come from? Why I had to go school because I loved being around my mother. You would be right to say I was an annoying kid. Apart from being annoying, I did not like food. This always infuriated my mother because the only thing I would willingly eat was tea and bread. Anytime I annoyed my mother, she’d always ask, “even if I want to flog you, what do I flog?”   

It’s ironic I am a shy person now because I remember always being outspoken. Once in school, I got flogged for taking the blame for something a friend did.

Funny, I can’t even recall the name of the so-called friend now. Anyway, my school had this cheeky monkey that loved bananas but absolutely hated its cage. So, one day, my friend let the monkey out of the cage.

The monkey was so happy it followed us everywhere. I think we were four or five years old then and the monkey was taller than us. It wasn’t long before we were called by the headmistress. When asked who let the monkey out, I turned to my friend and she was in tears already.

I quickly said I was guilty and gave the most convincing speech ever! I remember telling the headmistress she was wicked for keeping the monkey in the cage.

I told her if the monkey didn’t like being locked, it should be allowed to roam around. Oh! That got my headmistress angry.

Now, that I think of it, the headmistress was indeed wicked because how could you beat a five year old for being a good friend?

Anyhow, as a child I was unbelievably happy and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world. I won’t!

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