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A Childhood Memory by Araguacema Zenker

When I was eight years old I lived in a small town in Brazil called Caruarú. Just like most children I was fond of animals. Most children had their own animals that they cared for. I too had my own animal, only it was perhaps a little unusual: a boa snake about 10 feet long.

I had gotten it from a friend but I had not told my parents, or even my sisters, that I had a snake as I was afraid that they might not like to have such a large animal in our house. Therefore I had put it in my room without telling anybody. There the snake was sleeping most of the time, not bothering anybody.

In the summer it can get pretty warm in Caruarú, and it is quite common to take a nap in the afternoon during the hottest time of the day. My mother usually took a nap after lunch. One day when it was unusually hot even for Brazil, she decided to take a rest, but not in her bedroom as she usually did. Instead she went to my room and lay down on my bed.

I was worried because I was afraid that she might not like my pet if she happened to see it. I tried to convince her that she would be more comfortable in her own bedroom, but she said that my room was cooler. I could not make her change her mind. I walked about the house rather nervously. Just as I had feared, after a while I heard a scream coming from my room.

What had happened was that my snake hade awakened and started to investigate who was lying on my bed! When the snake started sniffing my mother, she woke up in a hurry. I quickly ran away, which I am sure was a smart thing to do!

I don't remember if I was allowed to keep the snake, but I am positive that I was not allowed to keep it in our home after this.

Well, this is just a small memory. I remember many other adventures from my childhood, such as when I made a wager that I would succeed to get a single man and a single lady to live together, or when I bought a fighting cock and made a lot of money on cock-fighting contests, or when I dressed our chickens in my sister's panties, or when I sold my father's shirts, and removed his moustache while he was asleep, or when I visited the cemetery at midnight to watch the dead dance.

But these stories I shall have to tell some other time.

1999-10-06

  Last edited or checked April 4, 2004

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