I’m a Murderer

When I was little I loved all animals and insects. In fact I loved them so much that sometimes I accidentally loved them to death.

Like when I fed my fish – day…

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and night.

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It was months before my parents realised what I was doing and we had gone through countless fish (and backyard funerals).

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Then there were the skinks.

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I could never understand why they didn’t seem to live very long in their little skink houses. The homes I created for them had absolutely everything a skink could ever want! Grass…dirt…water…

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When I was a little older I spent a whole day trying to help cicadas out of their shells – partly because I was impatient and partly because I knew they had such a short life span. I just tried to get them out into the big wide world as quickly as possible.

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There were no survivors, but I learned my lesson and never tried to hurry them again.

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There was one particular incident, however, that haunts me to this day.

When I was about six I discovered a little nest in a small tree around the side of our house. I was absolutely beside myself as I had never seen a nest that close up before, let alone looked inside one. I was dying to take a peek at what I imagined would be a nest full of cute little baby birds.

The tree wasn’t much taller than me and I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to climb up and have a peek inside. The only problem was, the mother bird was always sitting in it and I didn’t want to scare her, so I left it alone.

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One day I came outside to find the mother bird gone.

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I couldn’t quite see inside the nest, so I tilted it slightly towards me.

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I got to see the three most beautiful little eggs tucked cosily among the twigs and leaves…

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for about one whole second before they toppled from the nest and smashed upon the ground.

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I was a monster.

I felt so guilty that I didn’t go around that side of the house for many months – I couldn’t bear to return to the scene of my crime. I also had paranoid fears that the mother bird would know what I had done and peck out my eyes with her little beak.

But that was all a long time ago – I was just an innocent, curious child. I shouldn’t carry any guilt for those unfortunate accidents.

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But I do.

Brutal Life Lesson #2

I was one of those kids that chased anything that moved – bugs, lizards, birds, cats… I’d pretty much pick up anything that wasn’t fast enough to escape my clumsy, but well-meaning clutches.

So, when my parents took me to a beach that was covered in scuttling crabs I thought I had died and gone to heaven. There were literally hundreds and hundreds of the little beggars rushing about, popping in and out of little holes in the sand. They were so cute and I was having a blast chasing them around trying to catch them, when suddenly, I hit the jackpot! I found a huge crab and I wanted it so freaking bad.

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This crab seemed to know it was bigger than the others; it didn’t even try to run away from me. It just sat there – daring me to pick it up. Although I wanted more than anything in the world to do so, I was very aware of the size of its claws. So, I just stood there for a time trying to work out the best way to pick it up, while also trying to estimate the potential pain if those claws got a hold of me. As I was pondering these things a kindly old man wandered by and saw my dilemma.

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He explained to me that if I just reached from behind and picked it up with my thumb and index finger then the crab’s claws wouldn’t be able to reach my fingers. It sounded plausible; he seemed like a nice old man and why would a nice old man lie to me? Plus, old people knew stuff about the world. Now that I was armed with this new knowledge I decided to pick up the crab using the kindly old man’s technique.

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I picked up the crab feeling super confident. I turned the crab to face me so I could look at it closely. I was so cool – I knew how to pick up crabs! Suddenly the crab began to reach underneath itself with its giant claws. I didn’t care, because I knew how to pick up crabs!

 

Apparently the crab didn’t know about my special crab-picking-up technique because it casually reached under its belly, grabbed my index finger and pinched it violently until it drew blood. I let out a blood-curdling scream and flung the poor crab to the ground. The old man was nowhere to be seen and I ran off bleeding, screaming and crying to my parents.

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It was about another fifteen years before I understood their enormous amusement when I told them, while crying hysterically, that I was never, ever trusting an old person ever again!

Where did the old man go and what happened to the crab? Who knows?

I have a pretty good idea, though.

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You might also like Brutal Life Lesson #1

Brutal Life Lesson #1

I was not a pretty child when I was five. I had a really bad hair-cut, big, ugly glasses and, for several months, a giant, brown eye-patch over my right eye (to try and strengthen the left one – which didn’t work). I wanted so desperately to be beautiful. If I were beautiful people would love me and buy me presents and I would be a better person all-round. Yep, in my five year-old mind, life would be all rainbows and ice-cream if only I were beautiful.

I remember my first day of school very well because it was the day I saw the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my life.

This is what she looked like.

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She had gigantic green eyes with long black lashes, long, jet-black, wavy hair and ivory skin. She looked like a princess and that was exactly how I saw her.

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I was incredibly drawn to her because, from everything Disney and every fairy-tale I had ever read had taught me, I knew that her nature would match her beauty. Why, she must be the kindest girl in the whole school! So, even though I was incredibly shy, I knew that she would be sweet and nice and set off immediately to introduce myself.

This is how it went down.

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By the way, if you think I’m exaggerating about how utterly goofy I looked, here’s my class photo from grade one.

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