Do you have your own special event (like Kat and Paul’s Goose roasting) that sings in your mind as one of the most memorable experiences in your life? Tell us about it.
The important thing about Kat and Paul’s goose roasting is not the action itself, but rather the emotion and deep meaning behind it. An almost mundane activity being carried out in the midst of war not only had a binding effect on the solidiers, but taught them something about the world. The memorable experience that I am about to explain had a similar effect in my life as although it may seem incredibly insignificant to any reader, it is an event that has remained ingrained in my memory for almost fifteen years…
As a child, I was an incredibly nature-loving being; I collected snails as “pets”, spent all of my time outside, and went out of my way to protect small creatures. One windy afternoon, when I was about five years old,a small green bug (most likely a christmas beetle, though my memories fail me) happened to arrive on my verandah of all places. To the aforementioned “nature-loving being” that my five-year-old self was, befriending this beetle was ofcourse the most sensible thing to do. I sat for what must have been hours on my sister’s skateboard watching the beetle, playing with it (also known as letting it crawl over my fingers), and trying to feed it cake; all the while, strong winds blowing around me. In my childlike mind, the bug was having fun too, enjoying my company and loving the cake; which, in hindsight, it most definitely was not eating. For me this was not just a bug, but a friend; my mum was too busy to play and my older sister was at school already- this bug was just as good company as any person could be to me and maybe even better in some ways. I wanted to share the news of my newfound friend with my mum who was folding clothes inside so I got off the skateboard and moved towards the door. The wind kept blowing. In a cruel twist of fate, this particular gust of wind was enough to turn the wheels of the skateboard I had previously been sitting on and as it rolled, the life was squeezed out of my beetle. My friend. Uneaten cake crumbs still lying there, the deathbed of a creature who had been such a comfort to a child. Tears flooded from my eyes not only when it happened, but many more times afterwards as I felt that it was my fault the skateboard had taken the life of an innocent beetle. To this very day, the death of that particular beetle still upsets me though I’m sure I have killed many since then with no remorse.
While the death of a beetle does not change the world, that memory has stayed with me for some unexplainable reason. Maybe because it was my first experience of something I cared about dying or because of the knowledge about how quickly things an be turned upside down. How short life is. Whatever the reason, this tiny experience made a huge impact on my world and the way that I viewed it making this event special not through what happened, but through what it meant.
Probably a distant relative of the beetle I befriended. (southcoasyherald.co.za)