#125 Ginger

Imagine your Grandad was a werewolf. Your Dad is half werewolf. Several of your siblings are werewolves. You’re not a proper werewolf yourself, all though you have been known to bark at the moon and gnaw on the furniture occasionally. Your wife is no Lycan either, but it’s definitely in her family too.

You want to have children. You discuss it. You both have experience of dealing with werewolves so you decide that even if it happens, you’ll cope. You can put bars on the windows. Get a lunar cycle calendar App. Put down lots of newspaper.

To your amazement, your first child has no werewolf in him at all. Werewolves are amazing, beautiful creatures. You can’t help being a little disappointed.

Surely for your next child, the cross hairs of genetic fate can’t miss. Werewolfism skipped your son, will it be twice as strong in your next child? Are you creating some sort of super werewolf?

Your daughter pops out of her mother already snarling and barking. She bites through her own cord and leaps out of the Midwife’s arms. She charges around the hospital on all fours, sniffing people’s shoes and weeing in the pot plants.

This all happened to us. It’s all true. Except for one detail. Swap “Werewolf” for “Ginger”.

Werewolf and ginger aren’t all that different. Both conditions go far deeper than the skin. And my daughter is no ordinary ginger. She’s the queen of ginger. A high priest of the church of gingology. Her gingerness makes your eyes sting. It’s incredibly beautiful, and more than a little frightening, because her personality is equally ginger. To put it as succinctly as I can, my daughter does not negotiate.

And then, the other day, she gave us her first word. Her very first clear communication with the world. It wasn’t a snarl or a howl at the moon. It was much more frightening than that.

My fiery haired, fiery natured daughter gazed fearlessly into our eyes, slowly shook her head, and said “No.”


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