“He hit me, Granny; and I ain’t ever going to forgive him for that,” that boy Eric he don’t know there’s been a whole lot worse around here. Some things you might always remember, but you still have to learn to forgive, even that terrible thing that happened to that little boy so long ago.
|Statue of an "abandoned child" on the pedestal of the bust of Ernest Rousselle, President of the Conseil Municipal of Paris|
I remember I was a little girl when it happened, and I knew the boy named David it happened to, I did; and as long as I live I won’t ever forget what happened at the railroad station down the road near Cloutierville where the trains all stopped that took the folks to town.
There was this colored boy—that’s what they called him back then—who took the train to work every day. He was sitting in the colored section, and there was this woman and her little girl in the white section; and it was getting cold. There was no one to fix the heater where they was waiting for the train, so they called for the boy to help them, and he did. And that was when it all started and us old folks we all know because it’s a painful thing that never goes away.
Some white boys they see that colored boy, David, coming out of the white section, and they start chasing him all across a field, and he goes over a fence and trips and falls and they catches him, and Lord have mercy---I got to stop a minute cause I still feel so bad when I get to thinkin’ bout that boy.
So they caught that child and castrated him and left him in that field, and when his daddy came he took him home and put the cloths on the boy to wipe up all that blood and mess, and the boy kept getting worse. They was scared to take him to the doctor, but the child he looked near dyin’ so the daddy put him a wagon and took him on down the road. They passed them boys who hurt that child, and one of those pulled back the covers on that wagon and just laughed as the wagon went by. The daddy knew then who had hurt his child, but no one ever came to help and the law seemed to forget.
David he died before they got him to the hospital and I still remember how scared we all was around here. But after a long, long time I got to thinking about that little boy, cause I hear about all those other children in the world who get hurt every day, and many of them people forget, like they just pay no mind.
I put my arms around Eric and held him close, and I said to him, “Child, you got to look front and forgive when things happen you can’t change “and I wiped my tears remembering the child so long ago.
And I hoped tonight as I go to bed that some folks will love some child somewhere, some child that’s lost or hurt, or some child some folks don’t want. That way no child will hurt again like that child David I can’t ever forget.