I was told little girls don’t howl like banshees. They don’t go around with messy hair and dirty ragamuffin faces. They say please and thank you. They keep their elbows off the table.
I heard for goodness’ sake, stop harping about not being hungry. There are plenty of children in the world who would be happy for what you’ve got. Don’t get smart with me, you know you can’t share your supper with them. You will clean your plate, missy, before going back outside. No need to panic because your friends are waiting. And no hiding food in your napkin. If you think that will work you’ve got another think coming. That’s quite enough backtalk from you.
Not till I’m grown do I learn:
Banshee comes from my Irish kin, meaning a female fairy or woman of the elves.
Ragamuffin comes from Ragamoffyn, the name of a demon in a 14th century poem.
To harp comes from harpies, winged half-human half-bird creatures in Greek mythology representing hungry wind spirits who steal food.
Happy comes from my Nordic kin, from heppinn (fortunate) and hap (luck).
Panic is related to sudden terror when woodland god Pan lets loose fierce cries, causing enemies to flee and saving his embattled friend.
I am glad to live for goodness’ sake. But hair messy, elbows on the table, I fly beyond what I used to call remembery, toward a world where another think is, indeed, coming.