When I was a child in the late 60s and early 70s, life was very different. We lived by different standards and things that are considered grotesque now, were acceptable back then.
As a treat, my mum bought our dog a pig’s head from the butchers. I don’t think the dog was that impressed with it. But my brother and were, and the first thing we noticed was how human-like the eyes were.
We decided, and goodness knows why, to remove one of them. So we went into the house for a fork. My brother put the head under his arm and I poised to dig in intending to flick it out. Only, I couldn’t do it.
“You try,” I told him. We swapped places and as I held the pig, he poised the fork over the eye – and froze.
We looked at each other and laughed. Why couldn’t we do it? It was ridiculous. So being the big sister, I took the fork back and aimed it once more at the eye. But still couldn’t do it.
“I know,” said my brother. “Let’s take it to Rodney.” Rodney was our neighbour and he a butcher by trade.
“Good idea,” I replied, and off we went.
Now I think back, Rodney didn’t appear surprised at seeing two kids on his doorstep with a pig’s head asking to take out the eye.
“Sure,” he said, and without hesitation, he took the head and the fork, plunged it and out it popped it out. We walked home with the eyeball balancing on my brother’s palm where it had been placed.
I found a ring box and my brother carefully put in the eye inside. He pressed it down with his finger to make sure it stayed in place. I watched in morbid fascination. Off we went to the lounge where mum was sitting and presented her with the ring box.
“Mum, we have a present for you.”
Her face lit up as she took it. “Oh thank you, that’s very kind of you.” For a fraction of a second, I hesitated. Did she think it a real gift? My brother grinned at me and I thought of that blue eye and smiled sweetly at her.
She opened the box, screamed and threw it in the air. The eyeball shot out, hit the ceiling and bounced off the wall, onto the floor where rolled under the chair.
Needless to say, Mum was not amused, but that childhood memory still brings a smile to my face.