Monday, December 7, 2009

girls and guns

Which sister was guilty of murder? Each one blames the other. In Amelia's autobiography, The Fun of It, she writes about that Christmas. "Sister also triumphantly produced a little .22 popgun which she had wheedled on her own. . . after a few short days of popping bottles off the back fence, it mysteriously disappeared. When it was hauled out of a secret hiding place some time later, the explanation that little girls should not go around shooting was given as sufficient reason for its seizure. As soon as my sister regained possession, she used it for shooting rats in a particularly well inhabited barn. . ." In Muriel's book Courage is the Price, she begs to differ."Amelia's crusade against bubonic plague led to a decimatinon of the rat population of the barn . . ."

When there's a gun in a story, I've been told it has to go off. I love the disparity here, each sister claiming the other is the one responsible for killing the rats.

Memory is a slippery thing, you're certain you know what happened and then someone who was there with you says you're entirely mistaken. As I write about Muriel and Amelia I try to think of how they each would have viewed their shared history. In the end, what happened becomes less important than how it's remembered by each of them, and how strongly they cling to their version of truth.

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