The next morning the whole Thornhill family loaded up Lamb Chop on a wagon and headed for the swamps. They were followed by what help that was left on the farm and all the new lumber that could be found. They even tore down a shed for extra planks. Soon they were at the place Lamb Chop would call home.

Under the watchful eyes of Lamb Chop and Mr. Thornhill, the new house was built. It was built high off the ground to assure the worst spring flood would never enter the home. A long entrance ramp was made to move up and down with the rising waters. A large porch was constructed to hold a dog and a few chickens during those times. There was a back porch to sit on and daydream of her life in Africa when she was still a small child.

Late in the first day, Mrs. Thornhill and Robert Gentry returned home to attend to matters on the farm. They arrived back the next afternoon. The final boards were being put in place.

As the southern gentle lady looked at the small cramped house seven foot off the ground she looked at Lamb Chop and asked, “Darling how in the world could you give Maria up for this?”

Lamb Chop looked at her former mistress and said, “Mrs. Thornhill, Maria can never be mine. It belongs to you and yours. It is not for me to keep or give up. This here place be mine forever.”

Mrs. Thornhill looked at the young black woman that she had become so attached to, “If this is what you want, Honey. I hope you will always be happy here. Oh by the way the lawyer came by earlier today. Here is a deed for the property. No one can ever take it from you or your descendants unless you want them to.”

Mr. Thornhill came over and placed the final signature on the document. With this completed, Mrs. Thornhill gave Lamb Chop a kiss on the cheek and said, “Sweetie I have always loved you even when you were my slave.”

Lamb Chop looked at the lady, “I have always loved you too Missy. That is why I have always stayed. I knew you needed me. Now that the war is over you are going to need me even more. Just remember Lamb Chop loves you Missy and that she loves Robert Gentry more than anyone.”

“Well, I am sure you are right but right now all I need is a big hug and a tour of your new home.” Lamb Chop wasted no time in freely giving her friend both. As she hugged the woman it dawned on her that many times when she had been sick or home sick this woman had been as much a mother as a mistress.

When Robert Gentry saw his two favorite people hugging, he too wanted to join in. Soon the three were hugging. The two women were weeping a little and Robert Gentry was just enjoying the unexpected hugging.

Mr. Thornhill interrupted , “Look around. It’ll  be getting dark soon. You going back home with us Lamb Chop?”

“I am home Master Thornhill. This is weres’ I’s be from now on.”

“Have it your own way girl. By the way, it’s plain Mr. Thornhill now. Ain’t’ for sure if you ever had a master any way.”

With that said he gave her a pat on the shoulder and turned and started ordering the workers to start loading their wagons and clean up their mess. The men he was ordering were free now, yet they were still bonded to this man in some strange way. At the same time, he was bonded to them as well as the land they stood on. The war had broken the South yet it had not bent the spirit of the people that called it home.

As dark began to consume the last minutes of the day the horses were harnessed and hooked to the wagons. Mrs. Thornhill extended one last invitation for Lamb Chop to spend at least one more night at Maria.

Her answer was a grateful yet firm; “I is where I belong Missy. You get on a going you don’t need to be on the road after dark with all the riffraff on the move.” With that everyone said their good byes and climbed in the wagon for the hour ride home to Maria.

As the wagon pulled off little Robert sat on the tailgate facing his beloved friend and suddenly began to blow her kisses like he had as a baby in the old kitchen a hundred times before. Just like one hundred times before, Lamb Chop’s heart began to melt. She thought how much worse her life in the South could have been if another family had bought her.

Yet, her bitterness for having been a slave still tore at her inner most being. Someday this feeling would pass but her love for Robert would only grow with the coming years.

Like any war anywhere there were many homeless people after the shooting had stopped without food and shelter. Then there were the pigs of war. They lay quietly in every society. They are the ones that find a certain pleasure in the killing; raping and stealing that goes with every war.

This group has the most difficult time in melting back into the everyday world.
This war was no different. The woods were full of renegades. They attacked people on the roadways at night. They stole their food and took what they wanted. Most would wind up dying by the same sword they had lived by. They had come too far and released too many demons in themselves to ever be normal again. To them, the war was still going on and they had the right to keep living the life style they had during the war.

Before the first summer had came to an end Lamb Chop had already found out everything there was to know about the swamp. She was familiar with every creature and every plant that lived within its boundaries. There, like everywhere, summer drifted into September and September bled into October.

Then one night late in October as Lamb Chop lay asleep an ex- slave made his way into her home. He was in hopes of finding some food. What he found was something that stirred an even stronger appetite. There lay Lamb Chop in her bed sleeping in the nude, which was her custom. This was how she slept in Africa. When she arrived at the Maria Mrs. Thornhill had insisted that she wear proper bedclothes. As soon as she became mistress of her home, she returned to sleeping the same way her ancestors had slept before her.

When the huge man saw the small beautiful woman sleeping he slowly took his clothes off and threw his massive body on her before she could wake and possibly fight him off. When she first awoke, she thought it was a nightmare and then quickly realized he was tearing his way through her virginity. The pain was unbelievable. His sheer weight penned her and she could not move a muscle. Her brain would not let her cry. She wouldn’t give this animal the enjoyment of her virginity as well as her tears.

After clawing and beating at the man with no results, she worked her hand under the small bed and found a butcher knife she kept there. She couldn’t quite reach it. The man was now going at a much faster pace. After what seemed hours he finished and fell flat on her out of exhaustion. There he quickly fell asleep.

She wiggled and twisted until finally she retrieved the knife. There on a night near Halloween, under a full moon she began to stab her assailant in the back and side until she could no longer muster the strength for another plunge of the knife blade. His limp body now was like a rock that had been laid on her. Finally after several minutes she managed to get out from under this bloody mass of human flesh.

The room was fully lit by the full moon. For the first time, she got a good look at her rapist. She had never seen him before this night. She reasoned that he was just a drifter and found her by accident. This still did stop the aching that she was feeling in body as well as her spirit. This quickly gave way to rage and again she started to attack the man. This time she didn’t use a knife but simply beat the dead corpse with her fist. It was as if she was trying somehow to torture him in hell.

After this passed she grabbed the man by his huge feet and tried to drag him to the front door. He was much more than she could even begin to handle. This caused her even more frustration. Again, the rage began to build in her. Even in death, this invader would show her no respect. Finally, she mumbled, “If I can’t move you whole, I will move you one piece at the time. I won’t rest until you and your evil spirit is out of my house.

Lamb Chop went outside to where she had been cutting firewood preparing for winter earlier. There she found what she was searching for. She picked the doubled bladed ax up and went back into the house. She picked up a large bucket by the stove that she stored her scrapes in. She took the bucket and ax over to where the body lay. There in the moon light with one swing of the ax the man’s head was separated for eternity from his body.

She calmly reached down, picked the head up, and laid it in the bucket. It was as heavy as a medicine ball. Everything about him was overly large and as she would soon find out extremely heavy. She began to cut all his extremities off. She then made one trip after the other to the boat with the body parts. All that was left was the trunk itself. She again raised the ax. This time she guided it with the skill of a surgeon. The chest was now split open and the heart was totally exposed. She took a butcher knife, removed the organ.

She then dropped the heart over into a boiling pot of water that she had started earlier. Next, she drug what was left of the trunk to the boat. There she quietly and smoothly paddled deep into the swamp. Soon the eyes that appeared on the water’s surface began to get wider and wider. She knew she was where the big alligators lived. There she started throwing bloody body parts over board. Suddenly the water was boiling and the area was alive with the primitive lizards. In all the centuries that they had lived in these waters, they had never lost their taste for the occasional human flesh.

When the last parts were overboard she made her way back home. When she got back home the water had all but boiled dry in the pot. The heart was much smaller, but it still resembled itself. It was placed in a shallow pan then put on the small table.

When the Bangui cried that night at midnight Lamb Chop ate the man’s heart. She had now had stolen his soul and he would be forced to wander for eternity. They had taken her from her motherland but no one could ever take the ways of the motherland from her.
to be continued

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One Comment on “LIZZY IV”

  1. Emma Says:

    I love animals. Great blog and hope to have some time soon to come back and read more!

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