When I was four, I faced death under a barn lot fence. I had been warned not to go there.
- But a warning from my Uncle Bert meant nothing compared to the fiery lure of the tiny kitten that had just scurried under the fence and dashed through a jagged hole in the grey wood barn.
- I did not hesitate a second, and crawled under the fence,my Sunday dress catching on splinters along my back and sending clouds of hot dust to cling to my hot, wet face. I got through, stood up, and
- In the flashbulb moment, there he was!
His eyes were on me, and I had forgotten all about the fluffy kitten. He had not moved yet, and neither had I, but he was making a kind of chuffing noise. I began to back away slowly, feeling for the rough board fence.
I found it, and soon as I did, I dropped to my belly, low-crawling my way backward. He rushed the fence with angry, astonishing speed.
I could feel my dress catching and tearing on the splintered railing, and the ashy grey dust on my face and in my mouth. I heard him hit the fence. I now knew what danger really meant. But I was already making up a safe, squasy lie for my mother as to just how my dress got torn and the palms of my hands had dusty blood on them.