Peek-A-Boo, I See Me.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

When Hamlet my trained Pot Bellied pig saw himself for the first time.

All creatures react differently the first time they see their reflection. When I first saw myself in a mirror, I screamed my head off.  That kid in the wall did everything I did and would not stop.  That kid in the wall screamed just as loud as I did.  What did I do? I hid and peeked out.  My new foster mom gently took me by the hand and lead me back to the mirror.  I saw another her there too. My mouth flew open and my eyes got wide.  She said, "That is you.  I grinned, the kid grinned.  I suddenly got excited.  I put my hands in front of my face and peeked out from between my fingers and said, "Peek a Boo, I see me."  I laughed... the kid laughed.  This was fun.
 
I look back on the experience now and remember my mother always made me look at myself before any disciplinary action.  My grandmother made me look at myself when ever I could not make up my mind about what to do.  She would say, "That person right there looking back at you is the one who has to live with what ever you decide.  There may be other people; but the person in the mirror is someone you live with everyday."  The practice of looking at myself before making decisions helped me through many, many, life altering decisions.
 
Through the years I loved to see children and animals also discover themselves for the first time.  Becoming self aware was one thing but to see proof of your own existence was something else.  My sister's first sight of herself made her laugh and point at the kid in the mirror and then at herself.  She actually danced with the reflection she saw.  Then while Grandmother sang the Patty Cake song my sister sat down in front of the mirror and played patty cakes with her reflection.
 
Once I asked Grandmother what she saw when she looked into the mirror.  She would grin and bat her eyelashes at her reflection and always say, "You are pretty foxy to be retired."  According to the cartoons of the day a fox was sly and sneaky.  I had no idea at the time what retired was but according to my grandmother it meant she could spend lots of time with me.
 
I asked my mother once what she saw in the mirror?  She would look at her reflection, pluck at her hair line and say, "It is time to get out the peroxide.  It is time to become a natural blonde again."  This had become a common routine after she had adopted two little girls with natural blonde hair.  In fact our hair was white.  It did not turn a shade darker until I was almost 30.  Winter would bring some yellow streaks through our hair.  Our Mom, became a natural blonde again every month. 
 
I asked my daddy the same question. He rarely ever looked at himself in the mirror except to see if all his clothes lined up.  He had a burr haircut that was started when he went to his barber the morning after a party and the barber was still drunk. My father came home with a burr and it stayed for many years but he did change his barber.  When I asked Daddy what he saw in the mirror he would always say, "Someone who needs a haircut."  All in all humans all react to their reflection according to how they felt about themselves.
 
My cat was too clever... she looked behind the mirror trying to find the other cat.  I have seen birds peck at the side mirrors on cars.  As if to try and warn the other bird that they needed to escape while they could.  I have seen other creatures discover themselves including a squirrel in my own yard.  He had been raised by a cat and did not learn he was a squirrel until he saw his own reflection in a puddle of water.
 
I had thought on all these things as I tried to prepare Hamlet to see himself for the first time.  He was to do a TV commercial or public service spot about teen suicide.  Hamlet had to get it right.  The spot was about a kid who saw herself as a pig because her mother had continually criticized her about her weight.  Her mother called her a pig so that is what she saw when she looked into the mirror.  It was a very important commercial and I wanted Hamlet to do it.  Now, Hamlet had to dress up like a girl.  All in pink and fluffy netting covered him.
 
I was so afraid he would run from the reflection.  How would I help him understand he was seeing himself?  Now, you must understand... I never told Hamlet he was a pig.  He was always my "Delightful Hamlet."  I am sure he knew he was a "delightful" what ever that was.  He also knew his name and identified with it and all the attention "Hamlet" got.
 
Hamlet loved the spotlight any time he could get it. He always had to be the center of attention.  He was sure everyone was there to see him. I was worried he would not like dressing like a girl.  No problems there... it was just another costume to him.  It was time.  I had a full length mirror along one wall in living room. I opened the door and let him in side.  Hamlet was not sure of what he saw in the mirror.  He grunted and looked back at me.
 
The camera men got ready as Hamlet saw himself for the first time.  He did not squeal... he squeaked, walked slowly up to the other pig and kissed it.  Needless to say, he did not get the part.  He was thrilled at being a "delightful" Hamlet, he thought that was wonderful.  He even squeaked a little when he saw his tail wiggling in the mirror.  After that, Hamlet never passed a mirror that he did not stop and kiss the "delightful" staring back at him.
 
When you look in the mirror do it with love.  What you see was created by God and is Loved by God. Make sure you tell yourself that and pass the secret along to anyone else looking in the mirror, especially a child.


Submitted: October 15, 2020

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