Monday, August 20, 2007

Childhood Memories: Billy the Goat

When I was 10 or 11, my grandmother gave us a goat for a Christmas present. We took the goat with us from Ibadan, all four of us excited. It had to stay in the boot for the duration of the journey, and we kept worrying if it had enough air. While driving, we decided on a name for him. We decided on Billy. Billy was a she though, and we put her in our BQ. Finally, we had a pet of our own, we'd always wanted a dog, but Billy would do just fine.
Billy was such a sweet goat, she ate grass from our hands, stood on two hooves on our chest, was just perfect! She was white, with black spots, and had two outgrowths from her neck that looked like tiny bells. Billy had Betty, about a year later (she was probably pregnant when we got her). Betty was white with brown spots. Later, Billy had Bobby; I don't remember how that happened. He was a light brown colour and it was immediately obvious that it was a he goat (apart from his organs); he just looked very masculine, for a goat. How I loved those goats. I remember my best friend T teasingly calling Billy my sister, when we only had her. These animals affected even my parents.
We totally loved those goats, and didn't even mind too much having to clean after them. They totally rubbished the BQ, practically tearing down the door of the room where they lived, and inspecting all the other rooms, obviously leaving behind evidence, :)
Knowing Naija parents, I guess you know what came next. Billy was the first to go. Then went Bobby. We kids cried our eyes out and were inconsolable for a while. We ended up eating some of the meat later though - its sort of macabre sha. Betty had twins, which we had to give away, because my parents had had enough. Betty was the last to go.

I'll never forget my darling goats, and especially Billy. Thinking about them evokes wonderful memories of all the innocence and carefree happiness of my childhood, of a time when all was perfect, to mind.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The ethic of reciprocity

I have been on vacation and thinking deeply about a lot of things recently, about my present, my past and my future. Somehow in spite of all the happenings around me and in my head, or maybe because of them, I have not had the urge to write recently. I will be writing about some of the things going on in my head.

My friend C and I have been through a lot together. Even now that we don't live in the same city anymore, we talk regularly on the phone and share most of our secrets. We are so different that I would not have believed that we would remain friends.

C doesn't trust anyone. It doesn't matter who you are, make a "misstep" and she doesn't give you a chance to explain, you are just cut off or harshly judged. We argue about that a lot. As much as I love C, I know she is the type of person who will always look out for number one. That has happened many times even towards me. I have often wondered what happened in her past to make her like that.

Mr. K was a married man when we were students who had asked C out. She told me that he had taken her out a few times, I knew that he called her sometimes, but she told me he was just her friend and I believed her because I could be friends with a married man, but I would never knowingly have a relationship with one. Besides, everyone knew that Mr. K had another girlfriend.

A mutual male friend of Cs and mine, Chima once told me I was just being naive and thought that everyone was like myself when the subject of C and Mr. K came up, and when I said "they are just friends".

Chima cheats on his wife.

Some random thoughts in my head:

Are we untrusting because we are untrustworthy, or are we untrustworthy because we are untrusting?
Are we harsh and critical because we have been harshly criticised, or are we harshly criticised because we are harsh and critical?
Are we unloving because we are unlovable, or are we unlovable because we are unloving?
Could "do onto other as you would be done by" have a more pertinent potential positive effect on our lives, christianity apart?

My own opinion is, yes. Living by The Golden Rule can have a positive effect on your life even if you are not a Christian.

Read more about the ethic of reciprocity here.
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