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“That Poor Lamb”

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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This story is one of the 40 I had written in the form of autobiographical fiction in a book titled Once upon a Time in Turkey and published on November 15, 2022 with Inner Child Press International.

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