. Have you ever been punished for something you didn’t do, or because of a misunderstanding? It happened to me once when I was five. I wasn’t punished because I did something wrong, or because I was involved with anything mischievous. I was disciplined (if you could call it that), because of a misinter- pretation of my integrity.

. It was a humid summer afternoon in my little (or at least used to be), home-neighborhood of Oaty Mesa, California in the year of 1999. My grandmother, my mother, and I were sitting in my grandma’s kitchen. It was the time of summer when the grapes were just turning ripe, about a week into the month of August, and when my neighbors sweet oranges were freshly picked by me and my little brother and put in my grandmother’s ancient pale yellowish-white refrigerator, the kind from the 1960’s with no freezer, and I had just turned five.

. My grandpa was out back digging a little trench for the “new” sprinkler system he had just bought from a friend of his. My dog, Max, a purebred German Shepard that my mom had bought for me from a kennel in Michigan for my birthday, was outside playing with a bone left over from the dinner of steak and beans the night before. “Maybe you should go outback and help your grandpa, he must be hot in this weather, take him this,” my mother said as she handed me a big glass of water and ice, “tell him dinner will be ready in about an hour,” she said to me as I walked out the back door.

. “Here grandpa, mom said this is for you, and that dinner should be ready in about an hour,” I said as I handed him his water. “Thanks,” he replied as he downed the water in about four giant gulps. I went to play with my puppy, when my little brother came around the corner holding a shovel, no doubt from my grandfather’s tool shed. “Hey Cwish!,” he said to me. He was only three, so I couldn’t really get mad at him for his grammar, though my family teased me by calling me “Cwish”, and that annoyed me. “I’m gonna go halp gwampa,” he said as he turned to walk away, but as he turned, the shovel hit he just above the right eyebrow. I started crying because it hurt, and he started crying because he had hurt me.

. My grandfather came running to see why we were crying, and he slapped my hand, because he thought I had hurt him because he was crying. “What happened?!,” cried my grandfather as I looked up. He had a look on his face that said “someone’s in t rouble.” I lightly touched the spot on my head that hurt, then looked at my blood-covered hand. He turned around and told my little brother something I don’t remember (or can’t write in this blog, rather), then started spanking him. It wasn’t until later that I could explain to him that it was just an accident, but to make up for it, he took us out for ice cream.

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