The name my parents gave me the day they picked me up was Herbert. Actually my mom named me, and since dad loves mom as much as he does, he went with it. Not so deep down, I think he hated it. I think he hated me more. Mom, however, loved it. When she had dad saw off my foot with a blue kitchen knife, the serrated edges that look like waves, Mom wanted to get my name tattooed on my foot. She kept it in the kitchen, because she loved me so much.
They lived in a one bedroom condo, and kept me in the living room next to the entertainment center. They claim they removed my foot because I wouldn’t fit in the toddler bed they had picked out for me; apparently you can’t take home a five year old and put it in a crib. It’s not that they had stolen me, even if it felt like they had. I had been with children that looked like me, in a home for those of us who had been taken away from the farm we were bred and kept on.
Personally, I think that the farm and this place had some type of agreement together. Whatever kids came out with physical defects, limited intellect (if any at all), or any attributes that suggested a woman had been intimate with the milkman so to speak was poorly packaged up and sent to this “home.” Living on a farm, my original home didn’t have a milkman, they had cows. And chickens. And everything they needed to be their own private community kept in 85 acres and several barns each designated with their own uses. I think it was in Vermont or New Hampshire.
When we misfit children were brought to the home, we were brought in a special truck with mini-trees. The trees were secured standing up, while each child was secured to the base of the tree. I was secured to the tree furthest to the front next to a little hole. By some miracle God had fallen asleep and during his nap, I had been blessed with a window. When the man paid for the other flatbed full of trees bound both individually and to the truck, he paid by check or credit card whichever would give him a printed receipt.
“You farmers have the best Christmas trees. What’s it a eight, nine hour ride here?” the man asked.
“It’s closer to ten.”
When he paid pay for the truck of mini-trees, he paid by cash with a quick hand written receipt. After he had paid he told the man to wait a minute and called for his wife, Minnie.
“Minnie,” he said, “come on out here and picks yourself a tree for the house.”
“Ahhhh,” Minnie had shrieked in delight, “really Bob you mean it this year?”
“Sure do,” he told his oddly disproportionate wife.
Minnie had hopped in the back of the truck looking at every tree, and every child mentally weeding them out until she made her way back to my tree. “This tree is perfect,” Millie exclaimed as she got to my tree. Bob stood at the back of the truck with a large and hefty walking sticking in his two hands, while the other man climbed in and made his way back to Minnie. “This the one you want? You sure?” the man asked.
“Yes! The tree is just perfect,” she said putting her hand on my head.
After the two men had finagled the tree and me out of the truck, the man looked at the two of us. “Well you’re right about the tree being perfect, not too sure the kid was worth all that works though” he said with a fully-bellied laugh. “Go on; give your mama a hug.”
Before I could move this woman had embraced me, “Let me look at you!” I guess she couldn’t have seen my feet the way I was sitting in the truck, since she then told her husband, “Bob before you and Mike go deliver the rest of the trees, go inside and take care of Herbert’s foot please.”