bread and jam and strawberries

They tell me that my first word was strawberry.

Of course, it was more like sogabie, but a valient effort nonetheless.

Before mother, before father, it was a fruit.

They read to me about a badger whose favorite food is bread and jam.

It is called Bread and Jam for Frances.

I do not know what her favorite jam is, but I imagine that it is strawberry.

I begin to pretend that I am a badger.

They tell me that once, after dinner, I jumped up and down for my dessert, proclaiming sogabie ice! sogabie ice! until my bemused parents handed me a strawberry popsicle.

I seem to remember that they told me once, after my parents went grocery shopping, I sneaked into the kitchen at night and ate an entire box of strawberries, without sharing.

I vaguely remember this as one of my crowning achievements.

My father tells me that his aunt was violently allergic to strawberries.

I can imagine no worse fate.

The saddest thing I have ever seen in a strawberry covered in mold.

The second saddest thing is an empty jam jar.

At parties, when they have strawberries, my mother has to remind me: strawberries are for everyone. She knows I disagree. I am chastised in the taxi home for being greedy. I pretend to be sorry. I am not sorry.

I am a badger.

When I get home, I take a piece of sourdough and slather it in strawberry jam.

© 2016 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.

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