Darby L

  1917 -
  City of Birth:
UK
 
 

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Darby's Story > Chapters > My Early Years

"Devon" 

 

Date Range: 10/22/1917 To 10/22/1922   Comments: 1   Views: 8,211
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Back to Devon for a time. I really enjoyed myself including letting a herd of cows out so that I could ride on the back of one with big horns. Away down the main street I rode urging the cow along with shouts and smacks on its rump. Suddenly strong arms whipped me up and carried me struggling home to my aunts. I remember they pretended to be so cross but when the farmer had left they hugged me and called me a cowboy. I must have been a bit wild.

             Back in London I faced that monster again. Every day I was smacked or felt his belt. Crying didn’t help. I only got one more for making a noise.


He was deep into a hobby of wireless. Already he had built a crystal set and was fascinated by hearing voices over the headphones.


He now started making a set with electric bulbs in it. His new delight was to give me a wire to hold and then send an electric current through it which made me scream and cry. The feeling of my whole body jerking and trembling was new and frightening. A few wallops for being a baby soon made me just stand and cry. I was a quick learner. I would race down to the chicken pen at the bottom of the garden. There was a large proud cockeral in there and though he was called spiteful and dangerous he was my friend. Many a tear I cried on his feathers and he always pecked gently around my head and face as if he was kissing me.  I thought he was anyway. Because he made a fuss when my mother made me leave the pen he disappeared. I was told he had gone to live in the country but I was still sad and lonely.


A few days later a friend of my mother’s brought me a duck to cheer me up. "Ducky" and I became good friends and every morning it would be waiting for me on the doorstep. That poor duck was dressed up in dolls clothes, wheeled in a pram and played doctors with cabbage pills. Ducky was my playmate.


The dark day arrived when Ducky wasn’t there anymore. I was too shocked to say much. I just cried and cried until my mother told me “Ducky had run out into the road and had been run over". I had to accept that and crawled into a corner to weep for Ducky. My father found me and said he would give me something to cry about.


We had a very deep, dark coal cellar and he had taken to pushing me in there “To teach me to stop making a fuss” about anything. Hanging on a hook in the cellar was a big sack, my father’s old kit bag I learnt later, but he told me the shiny brass eyelets were the eyes of a monster and if I made a sound it would come out and get me. This day he pushed me in there and I saw Ducky hanging by its neck. He shouted at me that it was dead and to stop fussing. My tears and sobs were quite loud and while sitting on a large lump of coal started coughing. With that the big sack fell down and I just screamed and screamed. My mother rushed to let me out but I had wet myself with fright. This didn’t mix well with coaldust so I had a hard smacked bottom for being a dirty girl.


For days I didn’t eat or speak and in the end the doctor came and said I was stubborn. Once more I was sent down to Devon.




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Member Since
Mar 2010
Jameson Benidict. said:
posted on Aug 05, 2010
Darby's stories.

More please.