by the sharpest, most intense pain he had ever felt in his life. He knew that he had beentold to be silent, but the pain was so maddening…“DJER!” he shrieked so shrilly that it almost sounded like it would have comefrom a girl’s mouth.There was silence. Blood dripped from where Buikhu’s foreskin had been.Looking around, he noticed that everyone else was staring at him. The other boys weregrinning, as if ready to burst out in laughter, but the
was frowning with disapproval.So was his father, except his glare was even sharper and heart-piercing.“That will be enough,” Mhotep said. “Now on to the next boy.”And so the
proceeded to circumcise the rest of Buikhu’s age set, with each of the boys reciting the names of his ancestors during the procedure. A couple of other boysscreamed just like Buikhu had, but most did not. That made him feel even worse. Had allthe boys reacted to their cutting the way he did, he would have thought himself normal, but instead their stoicism contrasted sharply with his lack thereof.Once every boy had been cut, Buikhu turned to face his father. “Father, I am---”“You screamed like a girl,” Kemnebi said. “You have shamed our family withyour cowardice. Now you will never be considered a man.”Until then, the boy had thought the circumcision he had just undergone had beenthe most intense pain he had ever suffered. Now even that paled in comparison to what hefelt right now inside.