17 Nov

Memories: Part 1

When my mother was visiting the UK to meet Baby, she gave me a thick green folder full of memorabilia from my early years: swimming certificates, report cards, and piano awards, among others. Just now, I was going through the folder again and found two pictures of me sitting on Santa’s lap at 2 and 3 years old and also my original birth announcement. It contains a picture of me as a newborn that I’ve never seen before. I’m glad to report that maybe Baby has a bit of my look after all.

Over the next few weeks, I thought I’d share a few of the gems that I found in this folder because, quite frankly, there’s some pure comedy gold in there. I was quite prolific as a young writer, it would seem. I also found a stack of old school photos. I’d forgotten how bad my teeth were before braces!

Today’s excerpt is from a little composition I made entitled “Julia, the Whale”:

The harpooners were coming and all of the whales were swimming off in large clumps. [I hate those clumpy whales, don’t you?] I was on my way out to the Caribbean before the winter frost. One whale had already been harpooned. The whalers wanted us for our oil and our teeth. I was not that near to the Caribbean when, out of the blue, one of us whales, Jeffrey, went up to blow and got harpooned. [I was obviously mad at someone named Jeffrey when I wrote this.]

The whalers had passed by now. I was closer to the Caribbean. Soon I would be homefree until the winter was over. All whales rejoiced at that time. That is why we lobtail. [Once upon a time, I knew what “lobtail” meant. Cool.] We get so happy that we wildly wave our tails in the air. [Ah, that’s what lobtailing is.] It is a movement of rejoice. We also do it because the good people in the boats like to watch us. [Perverts.] They don’t really know why we do it at all, but we whales (especially me) like to be happy!

We breach about and around because two whales might have just gotten married. We might do it because we have an extra jolt of confidence or happiness and zest. [I love it when I have extra zest.]

The winter has now passed and I am back to a new spot out in the oceans. It is time to go up to get some air through my blowholes. [Hope I don’t get harpooned!] I’m back again. [Phew!] Earlier this morning, my best friend and I, Gevrey, went lobtailing and breaching. [It was a crazy time.] We got back here safely without running into any whalers.

The next day we got a joy when a boat called The Mimi crossed by. We all got to show off our beautiful lobtails and greatly postured breaches. We whales want to have our fun, too! And showing off to humans is just the way to do it!!!

The End

I wrote that on the 10th of April, 1986. I got an A for content (B for technique. Cow). Funnily enough, I actually disagree with some of her grammatical changes. Anyway, aside from a strangely intense interest in whales, I think that was pretty good. I’m going to go lobtail now. Care to join me?

One Comment

  1. 19 Nov


    You come by it honestly. I have one that I wrote around the same age. My rich parents had died and I was being raised by my guardian (who no doubt looked like James Mason in “The Seventh Veil.”)

    Dissatisfied with my easy life, I was going to become a pirate. So with my maid as chaperone, I headed to the waterfront where I planned to buy a ship with my generous allowance. (Allowances just aren’t what they used to be.)

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