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Thursday, 26 September 2013

All Things Great and Small

The wonderful thing about elder siblings is that no matter how old you get, they will always be older and wiser.

My elder sister threw away my pacifier when I was four. She, for some odd reason, thought I was too old to walk around sucking on a pacifier. I still have not forgiven her or recovered from the emotional scars.

She also decided soon after that I was too old for training wheels so she taught me how to ride without. All I remember of my biking lessons is, my sister helping me onto her bike and promising to never let go. (Her bike was too big for me, with my feet just reaching the pedals.) She did keep her word most of time, even helping me climb down which I couldn't do on my own. There were however times when I pedalled too fast for her and she could not keep up. (At least that's what I like to imagine!) One such biking lesson ended with me ramming into our neighbour's car just as she was opening the door to step out. Our neighbour was furious. My parents made me visit her apartment to apologize which I hated because she was a big lady and I was terrified of her.

I did eventually learn how to bike. My father removed the training wheels from my bike and hey, presto, I had a two-wheeler that I could mount and dismount on my own.

My bike was tiny but then at four-years of age, I was tiny. We lived in an diplomatic enclave in Beijing, China and I would ride around independently. My pride knew no bounds. I was riding to visit a friend (an elderly lady who allowed me to believe that I was teaching her how to read) when a tiny toy poodle decided to chase me. Have you ever noticed how tiny dogs have the loudest barks? I was terrified and started riding in circles screaming hysterically. The dog was as smart as me, and kept running in circles after me. A tiny dog barking furiously, chasing a tiny girl, screaming hysterically; must have been very entertaining because soon there was a large group of people gathered around. Diplomats from different countries; of different colours, sizes, and religions all found me equally hilarious. Not one stepped forward to rescue me.

If it hadn't been for my big sister I would still be pedalling that tiny bike in circles screaming wildly while everyone laughed. Also, I miss my pacifier - it would have stopped the hysterical screaming!

In our convent school, we were taught a hymn thanking God for all things; big and small. But I only thank Him for my big sister; small, barking dogs do not feature in my thanks.

All things bright and beautiful
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The great God made them all.

Cecil Frances, 1848




1 comment:

  1. I love my older sister, but sometimes I trust her with a secret and she doesn't keep it. I show her a work I am proud of, and she shows no pride in me like I do for her. I like to think my sister is a genius, has a flawless mind. Other times I feel jealous. I can draw, she does it better. I can write, she does it better. I can act, she does it better. We are so alike, I wish I could have one talent she couldn't do better. She doesn't know this, but I can sing pretty well.