That Poor Lamb
It was Kurban Bayramı. As the long-established tradition called for, lambs had to be sacrificed; their meat, to be distributed immediately among the needy.
Our porter, whom my brother Süleyman and I affectionately called “Abdullah Amca”, was proud to be in a position to sacrifice a lamb for the first time without any monetary contributions from any of his relatives. He and his family had gathered outside of their ground-level home in our apartment building.
I was 10 or 11, and curious about the ongoing commotion down there. The lamb was tied to a pole. Once I saw that scene, I should have gone away immediately. I stayed, though, as if hypnotized. I regret my curiosity to this day. Within what seemed to be only an instant, there was blood everywhere.
Even at this late age, I still hear the lamb’s blood-curdling bleats.
* Kurban Bayramı is the time of the “Feast of the Sacrifice” for practicing Muslims.
* Abdullah is a common Turkish male name.
* Amca describes a paternal uncle in Turkey. In this story, I use it in its popular context; namely, to refer to an endeared man of a familiar connection.
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