I was staying with my grandmother. I called her “Granny.” I did something wrong. I don’t remember now what it was. She gave me a knife and told me to go out and cut her a switch to whip me with. This is how I was raised. The person you are about to discipline you first give a sharp knife. I went and cut a green shoot and brought it back to her, but when I gave it to her, I ran. I was four or five. At first she tried to follow me, but less than halfway around the house, I looked back and she wasn’t following me anymore. I found her sitting on the back steps crying because I had shown such disrespect as to run from her. She couldn’t chase me. Her heart wasn’t good. I begged her to give me a whipping. It hurt me badly to see her crying, but her heart wasn’t in it. This was one of the formative experiences of my life.


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