16 December 2007

Halide's revenge

In the first book of her memoirs, Mor Salkımlı Ev (House with Purple Wisteria), the Turkish feminist author Halide Edip Adıvar has a story of a childhood incident that started when she and her older sister Mahmure killed their grandmother's canary by inadvertently dropping a heavy toy box on the hapless bird. Mahmure then made Halide tell the grandmother that they had found the bird dead. The kids escaped punishment, although Halide felt that the grandmother hadn't believed their story.

The next day, Halide woke up angry at Mahmure for making her lie and so got even with her in her own way (my translation from Turkish):

I ran to the garden, picked up an earthworm, hid it in my palm, went near Mahmure who was picking up the dolls. I said "Close your eyes, open your mouth." This is what children were always asked to do before a piece of candy was to be put in their mouths. Mahmure lifted her head up, closed her eyes tightly and opened her mouth. I quickly stuffed the earthworm in her mouth and scrammed away. To this day, I cannot explain how I had thought of such a revenge.

1 comment:

gillesarbour said...

Ha! This reminds me of a dirty little trick we used to do with newcomers in our summer camp society. The blind-folded victim would open his (or her - no discrimination here) mouth and we would put the worm in it while yelling the words Yuck! A worm!

The non-initiate would spit it out and scream like crazy. But here is the difference with Halide Edip Adıvar story: our worm was just a cooked spaghetti!

I think one of us had learned this for the Boy Scouts.
The good old days!