magpie 28

Author: angiem, 08 18th, 2010

You know how little kids like to get their hands and feet into everything? Well, once when I was about five, my parents visited a relative on a farm who had the pig trough right outside the summer kitchen door. I was a city girl and thought the trough a little wading pool. Sure the water was a little murky, with bits of food and such floating around, but it was a hot day and the air was dry and there was nothing else to play with.

I got in fully dressed and splashed around until I heard my mom’s horrified screams. I knew she wanted to give me a thrashing just from the look on her face and the sounds coming out of her mouth. But lucky me, I was too stinky and dirty for her to touch. A bar of lye soap thrown in my direction, and the ice cold water of the garden hose were punishment enough.

That evening the beds of my fingernails and toenails were surrounded by pus. I was running a temperature, hallucinating, who knows what else. I don’t remember much of it myself. But I do remember the red nails. And the milk baths.

For two weeks after, I had a medication applied to my nails that stained them a rasberry red, besides being forced to bathe daily in a tub-full of goat milk. Where my parents got the goat milk, I have no idea, as we didn’t have a goat. Still, my red toes peeking out of the white milk looked very pretty.  The only thing that sucks about this memory, is that to this day I cannot add any red berries to a bowl of cereal and milk, without feeling nauseous.

Only parts of this story are true. For more great reading visit

Magpie Tales.


47 Responses to “magpie 28”

  1. brigid Says:

    Great story, Angie, I can just imagine how frantic the mother was and the child so oblivious, shame about the red berries now though.

  2. Gemma@Greyscale Says:

    Impromptu, “cutting edge” fun can have its own revenge! O what a lasting impact!

  3. JeffScape Says:

    Oh, snap… reminds me of the time I swam in the sewer outlet…

    I’m gonna hurl now.

  4. Susan Deborah Says:

    Cleopatra bathed in goat’s milk and it is said that her glowing skin is a result of that. Wohoo. Is that why you glow as well :)

    Joy always,

  5. lisagolden Says:

    Sensory memory can be so strong. Makes for an excellent story though.

  6. ninotaziz Says:

    Fiction or not, it is a great story of shildhood impishness!

    Loved it!

  7. ninotaziz Says:

    *childhood, I meant!

    Well done Angie!

  8. Diane Says:

    No raspberries?!?!?!? True sadness for sure. :O)

  9. Carrie Burtt Says:

    I love this story Angie…it is awesome….these kind of memories make the best stories to tell! :-)

  10. Jena Says:

    I can’t imagine you splashing around in that trough so I know this isn’t about you. Washing in goat milk I totally get. You’ve got a gorgeous complexion!!!

  11. Paul Andrew Russell Says:

    Great story, Angie. I enjoyed reading this.

    It reminded me of my childhood, when my friends and I used to swim in a very murky, green pond down at the garbage dump. I shudder to think what was in that water. lol Luckily we never got sick. We sure are crazy when we’re young.

  12. willow Says:

    Your childhood memories are always a delightful treat, Angie. Loved this.

  13. Susan Tiner Says:

    Angie that sounds perfectly awful. What a shame about the red berries too.

  14. Susan Says:

    Well, that was vivid, Angie. I played occasionally with some piglets on a family farm when very young (I barely remember). I too, was a city mouse. Apparently, though, I drew the line at the trough. I was probably thieving flowers.

    Some Pig, huh?:) Excuse me while I dash off for a bath. (Seriously.)

  15. Jingle Says:

    goat milk,
    my firs time hearing it…

    what a magical magpie!

  16. Helen Says:

    Doesn’t matter which parts were true and which weren’t … it was a great Magpie!

  17. dana Says:

    Well, THAT was a little trip down to the farm that we rarely hear about…….I think I need to scrub the tub now…..

  18. Elizabeth Says:

    Good story, well told, and loved the way you captured the voice of the child looking back, understanding but still puzzled. Sorry about the berry aftermath, that’s sad.


  19. Francesca Says:

    I love this story, Angie. Unusual, innocent and funny. Attention grabbing right from the beginning.

  20. Kathe W. Says:

    whoa- that was intense…and why goats milk? My curious mind wants to know how that helped.

  21. krista Says:

    i’ve missed your words so much. so glad to sit with them right now. xo

  22. jane jones Says:

    You made me feel barfy! The admix of goats milk and berries, and the smells of nailpolish. What a concoction! What barfy commotion! That reminds me of the time (antidote coming up) when I went to a public pool and got the same thing; pus out of every orifice! I was so sick! I can so relate to your story, fiction or nonfiction. Wouldn’t goat soap be expensive for a bath? I do like the goat soap, oh, yes! I can appreciate this feeling of being reminded of putrifaction! Like how you drawn on the readership into their own memories of such illnesses in their lives, etc. And I love the third person limited in this story; a memory recalled from her youth. Excellent meme!

  23. Mary Moon Says:

    Damn. Well. I’ll never bathe in a pig trough again. I promise.
    No, really, this was darling.

  24. Ligia Olvera Says:

    good story Angie…!

  25. jinksy Says:

    Methinks this story needs to taken with a bar of soap!

  26. Michelle @ The True Book Addict Says:

    Hey Angie, sorry it has been awhile since I stopped by. This was a great story and I can sympathize with this type of infection after only recently recovering from a horrific cellulitis infection (staph) in my leg! I only wish my treatment could have been this easy…LOL!

  27. Deborah Says:

    Excellent story … pus and all!! :o)

  28. Lyn Says:

    Goat’s milk, hmmm? I like the possibilities of truth in this delightful tale…

  29. Tumblewords Says:

    Sounds like fun for starters, but it went downhill in a hurry. :) Terrific magpie!

  30. Leo Says:

    a lot of fun, and then a lot of, well not fun :) great magpie..

  31. Susu Paris Chic Says:

    Pink is sweet… but oh well, depends where and how. Glad to see you back here dear!

  32. Vicki Lane Says:

    The idea of bathing in milk has always seemed kind of yucky to me. But I like your Magpie!

  33. brian Says:

    oh my…as kids we would get ourselves into the darndest messes…just trying to have a bit of fun. nice memory and i imagine the berries might bring back a rather unsettling feeling. nice mag!

    my magpie

  34. Linda Says:

    This was a great magpie. Kids do some crazy things don’t they? I had a few adventures but none like that. Makes me wonder which parts were true…

  35. Patience Ray Says:

    that is a lot of goat’s milk! a very entertaining read if ever there was one. i love farm vs. city slicker tales!

  36. Lydia Says:

    Great to meet you today, Angie, and to have spent more time reading a sampling of your past posts than I actually spent talking with you at brunch! I’ve enjoyed my tour here so much and love your writing….selected this most recent post for comment because at brunch I had the wild mushroom scramble with leeks and goat cheese, and , well, it’s the goat milk connection. :)

  37. Make Do Style Says:

    Have been catching up on your magpie tales - they are wonderful xx

  38. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    you spin and weave words well Angie.

    will you be posing more come summer’s end?

  39. angiem Says:

    Thank you, all.

    Yes, Deb, I plan to. That is if things calm down a bit by then.

  40. laura Says:

    I am always absolutely spellbound by your stories, Angie! You have lived such stories. And that little teaser: “partly true”, only makes them more enticing.

    My boys went back to school yesterday and though it will take a while to get in the routine, I am hoping for more sanity. See you?

  41. French Fancy Says:

    Oh I am pleased to be back and I apologise for my long absence.

    Your stories are always so intriguing, Angie - I’d love to know which parts of this one are true


  42. audrey Says:

    ooo i like this story. the things kids get into. and milk baths and red stained toes! quite visual and surreal. loves it!!

  43. Cindy L Says:

    I am glad to be back too, after a long summer playing in the garden and away from the computer screen and blogging. I have missed your stories, and glad to return to this one, red berries and all!

  44. Christie Says:

    Oh man. Red fingernails and all - what a story!

  45. Lori Says:

    That’s a creepy story, Angie. I am starting to get the feel of your voice and style (it took me a while, didn’t it?) and I love it more each time.

  46. Relyn Says:

    The question is - which parts??

  47. Victoria @ Hibiscus Bloem Says:

    Great story. True bits and not so true. I caught my son, aged 2.5 at the time, wading through a Japanesse style pond at a house we were renting in the US. Weeds, frog spawn and algae all up his legs. He loved it of course.

Leave a Reply