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This particular story that I am about to impart unto you happened to me when I was only a child about eight to nine years of age. It occurred at about one oclock in the morning, nearing Christmas. I had awoken at the usual time and crept from my bedding which I shared with my two older sisters. The fact that my portion of it was soaked with urine did not bother me at all. I continued towards the table, under which was kept household groceries. It was at the other end of the small room and so it did not take long to reach it. The purpose of the creeping was evident as I had been a child who was very fond of milk and sugar. This habit caused my mother and I quite a bit of pain as I received many whippings and thrashings, and my mother being a single parent had to spend extra for the additional milk and sugar that I consumed. It was a habit she vehemently swore to break in me. I reached under the table with my hands eagerly stretching for the milk in the area I knew it to be. My left hand groped around in the dark. The window next to the door was open; I could tell so by the light breeze and the smell of the sea. No light shone through and so everything was pitch dark as the candle had been extinguished hours ago.

Our bootchambre was quiet but night noises could be heard in the yard and beyond. The leaves of the almond tree rustled, an owl hooted, a baby cried and a strange unidentified sound was carried by the wind. My left hand rested on something strange and quite hard and hairy; mind you I had been doing this for quite a while now and knew where everything was placed. This was definitely not the familiar and welcoming feel of the milk container. I instinctly moved my hand around to investigate, a slight feeling of unease in my gut. It was then that my finger got trapped in the cleft of two very hard surfaces. I almost panicked, my free hand felt around. It was then that I realized my fingers were caught in the hoof of a beast. I realized that another identical hoof lay beside it, scary images flashed in horror through my mind as my imagination went into overdrive. I had heard many stories of la Diabless and,Papa Bless with human bodies and legs and hooves of a goat, who enjoyed taking children from their homes and bringing them to the forest to torture and eat them. These thoughts were in my mind as I imagined him lying on the floor waiting to take me away to the forest. Just then I heard a scraping on the floor and with that I let out a scream loud enough to wake the whole yard. My mother and sisters woke with a start and the candle was lit, showing me on the floor with my fingers trapped in a Cows hoof. What is the meaning of this?! my mother demanded. I IIuh I thought I stammered as my mother took in the scene.

She came towards me her cherry branch had materialized in her hand from where it usually lay above her bed, as the neighbors awoke to investigate. The beating was one to remember since it lasted for approximately an hour and the next morning I was left looking battered. Since our sleep was disturbed that night we all awoke extremely late the next morning, which was an ironic twist of fate since the Soca Rum factory where my mother worked burned to the ground at six thirty. That meant that my mother would obviously lose her job and me being the only boy would have to get something to do to get some extra money. The priests and nuns always needed messenger boys or I could always sell bread for ma dukie.