Tuesday, March 19, 2013

my real name

As we ride to the hospital in the ambulance, Mary tells me the story of her childhood in Togo.

‘I was born early to my parents. I was very small, with a tail, and my parents were worried I was a witch and possessed by evil spirits. So they decided to throw me away. Sometimes this happens in my country. If you think your baby is possessed by evil spirits, you must get rid of it, and throw it away.’

They put me in a basket and took me to the woods. But in the morning when the sun came I woke up and started to cry. An old woman without eyes heard my crying and she came to discover what it was. She took me back to her home and she kept me as her own. I lived with her for one years and a half, and then she died because she was too old. Then my parents came to take me back.

But they did not want the evil spirits to follow me. So they changed my name and my date of birth, so that the evil spirits would not find me again. My parents they called me Mary after the mother of Jesus Christ. But my real name is the name the old woman gave me. It means: Lucky Holy Child Thrown Away.'


jacksofbuxton said...

Now that is heart breaking Spence.

Unconditional love is what we (should) feel for our children.

Wouldn't swap mine for all the tea in China.

(even though they are both going through a smart arse stage)

Spence Kennedy said...

I didn't realise till I looked it up how big a problem it is in Africa. And there are so many reasons why the parents might think the baby is a witch or possessed - premature births, unusual presentations, even slight malformations. The whole thing really is heartbreaking. Amazing that Mary survived. Her story sounded like something from Grimms' Fairytales.

The smart arse stage.
I think I'm still in it.
(And making a remark like that proves it) ;0)