This is Debbie, my big sister. She doesn’t look much like an axe murderer (mostly because she isn’t) but she did come close a number of years ago.
When I say ‘a number of years’ I’m talking about the late 1960s, so really, quite a long time ago now, when neither of us had yet reached the age of ten.
Our parents had bought a block of land on which to build a house. Dad decided that it would be quite fun to clear the block himself and so after work (for him, school for us) and on the weekends we’d head up to the block and he’d dig up trees and rocks and such like.
As Dad wielded an axe, Debbie, in a moment of father-emulation, took up the tomahawk.
Sharon, said she, hold that rock while I chop it. She knew how this worked. She’d been watching Dad.
Now, I mentioned that Deb is my big sister and as all little sisters know, if your big sister is emulating your father, is wielding a tomahawk, and suggests you hold a rock, you do as you’re told.
So I held the rock.
The blade was lifted, it hung momentarily in the air at the height of its swing, then came down to rend the rock in two.
Well, that was the plan. At the last minute, the rock, which was round, rolled to the right and so instead of the blade of the tomahawk rending the rock in two, it instead sliced through my finger. The pointer finger on my left hand to be precise.
Blood (mine). Screams (mine and Deb’s). Shouts (Dad’s). Swooning (me). Ditching the tomahawk and finding a place to hide (Deb). Swearing (Dad). One daughter getting into trouble.
Now at this point I can imagine that you’d be thinking it would be the tomahawk-wielding big sister who would be getting into trouble as Dad drove (swiftly) to the ambulance station.
And it would be at that point you would be wrong.
Even though the blood dripping off the tomahawk was mine, even though the finger hanging in two pieces was mine, even though the pain in said two-pieced finger was mine, even though the horror of having my tomahawk-wielding sister sitting next to me in the car was mine … it was me getting into trouble.
It seems that I ‘shouldn’t have been so stupid’ and that I ‘should have known better’.
Lesson learned … the hard way.
[I still bear the scar]
[On my hand as well as in my heart]