Thursday, November 28, 2013

Part 6 Ivy Gourd Games

She was a breadwinning mother that usually won bread at triple jobs, at work and outside of work. Teacher, volunteer, graduate student? Mother, wife, daughter in-law? So with little time to be herself, or anything else, she did chores on commutes. One day, it was plucking a silenced chicken, hidden in two polythene black bags. I could tell, as an occasional feather would fluff out in a muffled yanked cluck. On another, it was writing Christmas cards in drawly cursive, pulled and pushed by the train.

On this occasion, she had brought her grubby kid, a coloring book, a grocery bag full of what seemed like penises, a serrated knife, and a murderous scowl. Seating herself, and her son, she pulled a chopping board from her bag to her lap.

Ivy gourds! My favorite game!

The insides of each gourd range from a peacefully raw green, to an angry bloody red. The rules were simple or non-existent. You were a simple little boy, and you guessed if the ivy gourd was angry or not, as your mother hacked each gourd on a seated sickle. You still had to eat the chewy gourds for dinner. A win-win for mom.

While I smiled back at their displaced chore, he darted off his seat to pick up a fallen gourd. It rolled down the aisle, dirty. He brought it back to his mother, and then everybody inhaled. It was a bullet.

Unfazed, she asked him to guess if the bullet was angry or peaceful.

“Depends on who’s holding it,” he said.

She took the bullet from him and pocketed it.

“I taught you well”, she whispered, as they proceeded to make bets on more ivy gourds. Just a couple of pounds, and a couple of stops to go, before dinner.


Unknown said...

:) I love this one. You are an ace! :)

Unknown said...

:) I love this one. You are an ace! :)