Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
A Gate And A Lie
by Cathy Bell
My mom babysat a lot of kids during the week to earn money after my dad left. One day she was babysitting five other kids, mostly older than my brother and me. We ran and jumped and hid from each other outside in the yard, playing and screaming and having fun. Then Mom called us all into the living room. "You kids get in here!"
Once we were gathered around her, she said in her sternest of voices, "Greta was out of the yard. I want to know who opened the gate and let her get loose." Greta was our Doberman Pinscher. We all just stared at her. "I'm not letting you play anymore until someone tells me who let Greta out. Go put your noses in a corner. All of you!"
We all found a corner, mine in the dining room. I leaned my five-year-old head into the wall thinking how we were just having so much fun a few minutes before and now we were staring at the wall. I was being punished for something I knew I didn't do.
Ten minutes passed. Mom walked around talking to the backs of our heads, "I'll let you go play, no punishment, if whoever opened the gate just admits it." If all I had to do was say that I left the gate open, we'd get to play again; it seemed an easy choice.
"It was me, Mom."
Cathy A. E. Bell M.A. is the Senior IT Coordinator for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health.
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