This is just an amusing story. My mother was telling me a few days ago about how I was lucky to be alive! Not because I survived some horror or escaped a scrape, but because I was not supposed to have been born at all.
After my mother’s abduction and marriage, the next thing was to procreate. My father was to migrate North in the January, so they made a last ditch attempt to conceive in December. The month passed, and my father had to go--after a few weeks it was apparent: God would not ignite me! Frustrated, my mother turned to her mother-in-law, my grandmother, Elodia. Elodia was a thick little woman with white hair and skin made of leather; she spoke with conviction even if she didn’t believe what she said herself. People in town were afraid of her; she was supposed to have made a deal with some Dark forces or to have blackmailed a saint, or what have you. There was a persistent rumor, which I remember to this day, that she could turn herself into all sorts of creatures, like chickens, or birds. There were witnesses. My mother didn't like Elodia; but she had to endure her, since, as my father's bride, there was no other place to go. When, frustrated, she turned to her for help with her difficulties conceiving, she knew what she was getting into.
There was a simple solution to the problem. For nine days Elodia made stew out of possum tails; for nine days my mother had to drink the stew—which she recalls tasted like throw-up. Who knows where Elodia got her tails. But she had fresh tails everyday. The stew was du jour. On the 10th day, my mother says she felt her body reacting. Apparently, the stew worked and before long news spread that she was pregnant. My father wrote my grandmother and said: “I hope it’s a boy,” to which she replied, “It is.”
So even if God didn’t want me here…here I am. But now I feel bad for all those possums I’ve bad-mouthed!