Noddy Speaks in Tongues

Break-time. The English sip milk through a straw, crunch crisps.
I am the foreign kid, cornered by Miss Blowers, stick the tip
between your teeth. The them there this. The they them, like this.

Her tongue protrudes from her mouth like a sliver of salami.
De dem dare dis. De dey dem, like dis, I repeat.

Miss Blowers holds Noddy and the Magic Rubber. Her sharp
fingernails tap the cover; rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat. Thwack.
I am crowned with Noddy. I detonate with pain and shame.
The they them there this. The they them! roars Miss Blowers.
My tongue strikes, three thunderous thumps, thanks.

Back home Mama prepares borscht, slicing beetroots, carrots,
Chop, chop, chop into small. Her knife slides through red
flesh with no resistance, taps as it hits the chopping board.
Don’t like bosh, says I. Not de bosh, but de borscht! says Mama.
Not de borscht but the borscht and out comes my tongue.


A Light Bulb Moment- photo by the author




4 thoughts on “Noddy Speaks in Tongues

  1. Stark pathos here, Nikita. Mother tongues, accents, a key part of discrimination.

    I can’t relate to that aspect, but I started school a year early (my mother thought it was a good idea), and those were the years I was very sick with asthma, bedridden a lot of the time, short of oxygen, and developed very late.

    I don’t think young children give what happens to them at school a name, and since it’s all they know they can’t compare with anything else. A tragedy, but anyway we survive.

    PS: I changed a globe just like that a few days ago. Problem is that my eyesight is so poor with or without glasses I can’t see whether the filament is gone. Next time a quick photo with my phone and enlarge it. 💡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Steve, thanks for your interesting comments. Yes, the traumas of early school days. I have never forgotten the humiliation of those sessions with Miss Blowers! Being singled out from the group is upsetting for kids but perhaps that’s what makes us more resilient in the long term. After I photographed the lightbulb I realised just how beautiful it is in its simplicity.

      Liked by 1 person

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