I was 15 years old when for a first time I got in my hands the most hilarious book I’ve read – Emil From Lonneberga by Astrid Lindgren. Page after page I really thought I am having a déjà vu. It felt as if every single tale of the mischievous boy was the story of my life. Well, I didn’t put my head in the soup bowl, but believe me, they were plenty of other stories where I can fight for the trophy with Emil for the most naughty and cheeky kid ever walking on this earth. One would think that all children get born with genetically installed instructions how to drive their parents mad.
So here we are, back in time, one of those summer days when we, the kids played on the street (the streets back then were safe to play) and Mamma was doing her usual weekend chores around the house and the kitchen. Summer time my sister and I didn’t really want to stay home helping, all we wanted was to be out and play. Mamma was straining the fruit from the latest produce of homemade cherry liqueur. Sometimes she would keep the cherries soaked and potent of good quality brandy where they've been soaking for good 3 or more months. Sometimes we had too much from years before, so there was no need to keep the new ones. That was what Mamma decided – throw the strained fruit. She called me from the balcony and gave me a pot full of glossy, soggy and fragrant cherries, which smell of alcohol was just punching me straight in my nose.
“Take these cherries to the dunny and throw them in the hole”, she said.
So I start walking down the stairs, checking over my shoulders if Mamma is watching and scouting with my eyes the backyard if I can spot a comfortable place to dump the annoying brandied cherries. It didn't take long to see the bush of my grandma’s peonies and off I went right there, tipped over the pot, plonked the cherries down and yelled over my shoulder “All done, Mamma!” running as fast as I can to finish off my wall ball game.
Not long after my “dropping mission” I heard some screams and cries of despair. We run back home to find my grandma devastated going in circles in the backyard. She was picking up her wobbly and wiggly young hens, who were having a problem walking or standing on their feet. Few were already dropping on the ground. My grandma was trying to keep them standing, but the moment they had no support from her hands, they just flip and flop on the grass.
Mamma came down the stairs like a dart and the moment she saw the chickens, she knew what happened. She pierced me with her disapproving blue eyes. I was in big trouble... The poor things have found the brandied cherries behind the peony bush and had a big binge on them. I got punished and for the rest of the weekend I was writing homework, helped with the chores and didn’t play on the street with the neighbour’s kids.
To your health and long life!
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