My brother hadn’t noticed the adder approaching, slithering along the stone ledge of the cattle trough, when he threw me in. Laughing he left me drowning, fighting water and snake. On the day I started convent school, I stood shivering in grey serge and swamped in a felt hat I wished would float right off my head. We learned about evil and baptism, and it came as no great surprise to hear that a snake would always be out to get me.
"Initiation" last appeared in Leaf Writers' Magazine 2 (Autumn 2010). Pizzey is Assistant Editor at PURBECK! magazine and