PEDIGREE

Published July 31, 2017 by rochellewisoff

This week Pegman takes us to Cape Town, South Africa.

Feel free to stroll around the area using the Google street view and grab any picture you choose to include in your post.

To enjoy stories inspired by the What Pegman Saw prompt or to submit your own 150-word story, visit the inLinkz button:

For guidelines and rules for the What Pegman Saw weekly writing prompt, visit the home page.

Once more I’m late to the party. Many thanks to K Rawson and J Hardy Carroll for hosting this prompt. 

Although I chose a photo from Cape Town, I traveled far afield. The architecture puts me in mind of the old part of Charleston, SC. So I took a story I wrote for Friday Fictioneers a couple of years ago and, as Karen graciously put it, breathed new life into it. At the same time, when South Africa comes to mind, I think of Apartheid. So there’s kind of connection…right? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150

PEDIGREE

            I adored our handsome houseboy “Black-Jack.” Mama had a special smile just for him. Nobody told a better story. Sarah and I shared his lap, laughing and crying by turns.

            One night I kissed his bronze cheek. “I wish you were my daddy, too.”

            “So does I, my sweet li’l magnolia.”  

            When Sarah and I turned eight, Grandma sold him.

            Mama swooned. I dried Sarah’s tears with my lace petticoat. 

            “Stop that, Emma.” Grandma snapped. “She’s your slave.”

            “No! She’s my best friend. My sister.”

            “Never!”

            I still feel the sting of Grandma’s hand across my lips.

             A month later the old biddy sold Sarah.

            On my seventeenth birthday I was married off to a plantation owner near Charleston.

            This morning I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who bears no resemblance to either her blond father or me. In fact, she’s the spitting image of her Aunt Sarah.  

Real life twins.        

26 comments on “PEDIGREE

  • Dearest Rochelle,

    I got shivers reading this one. Read it three times, as a matter of fact! It’s funny because just recently I saw a post on FB about bi-racial twins. It is is an amazingly wonderful gift that life can throw at you, don’t you think?

    This story tore at my heart.

    Lots of love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I remember the first time seeing the photo of the twins. Then I heard another story of biracial twins…in fact one biracial couple in the news had two sets of black and white twins. So my mind went to the what if…wouldn’t that cause some problems on the old plantation?
      Three times? Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Karen,

      The different races fascinate me. I think that’s what I love about Friday Fictioneers. We’re such a multifaceted and multicultural group. Why can’t we appreciate the differences rather than try to eradicate them? There I go…on the soapbox again. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sandra,

      We’ve had quite a turnover since I posted the first version. I hope it’s clearer, now that I’ve added 50 words and gave it a good going over. Thank you. Your comments mean a lot.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • I thought maybe you’d read the same story my husband was reading about Thomas Jefferson. His wife was white totally, but her half sister had a 1/4 black mother, so was 7/8 white — but still a slave. And Thomas Jefferson fathered her six children as well as however many with his wife. You no doubt know all this.
    Jefferson gave his slave’s children their freedom, but never freed her. (Rotten man!) She died a slave. So you could indeed get these sort of genetic surprises coming out of the old South.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Christine,

      Genetics fascinate me. I have an African American friend who has the loveliest gray eyes. His father was biracial and had blond hair.

      I didn’t know the history that you share. Now I want to know more. Rotten, perhaps. On the other hand, perhaps he loved his slave and feared losing her. In any case, my story was born from reading a couple of articles about interracial couples who had black and white twins. My head went to the ‘what if’ that became my story.

      Thank you for coming by. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

      • This has such public news I thought all Americans would know about it. His black descendants have done DNA testing and show the same genetics as his white ones. The subject was brought up in his lifetime and he never denied nor admitted fathering them.

        As to “rotten”, I suppose his wife knew and maybe even accepted, given the spirit of the times, but it would make me pretty fumy to have my husband carrying on with my sister. Also, even in their old age and after using her all those years, he never set her free. Seems not so loving. (To me, through a very long telescope. 🙂 ) What’s really interesting is that her children, now free, were relatively successful people and they never purchased her freedom, either.

        Our son-in-law’s grandfather was Ukrainian, very Slavic, and the rest of his genetics are Dutch-German, fair and blond. He’s tall, slim, fair, sandy-color hair, and his brother got the Slavic genes: shorter, chunky, very dark. But black and white twins would definitely take the prize!

        Liked by 1 person

        • My mom was a twin. She had nappy dark back hair and brown eyes while my uncle, her twin brother, had blue eyes and red hair. Her older sister was a blue-eyed blonde.

          Currently I’m waiting on the results of my DNA test. Since I know that all four of my grandparents were Eastern European Jewish immigrants I’m not expecting too many surprises. Although my mom’s nappy hair has me wondering if there isn’t some African in there somewhere.

          Never assume that all Americans known anything. 😉

          Like

          • “Nappy” — new word for me! Sounds like your gene pool is an alphabet soup. 🙂 Even a redhead! But remembering how the Jews trekked across Europe—or even the rounding up and selling of the Jewish nation into slavery after the fall of Jerusalem, a person can understand the slough of genetics.

            My Uncle/Dad was a Forsyth, Scottish as they come, but to see three of the brothers, small, fine, dark, you’d guess a stray sailor from the Spanish Armada must have added some genetics. The oldest takes after the Buchanan side, a Scot if ever there was one. “With guid broad shoulder” as the song goes.

            The most handsome man I ever met in my life was a Frenchman from the Mediterranean area.(Algeria?) Tanned by nature, almost 6′, wavy hair, clearly a smidge of Arab &/or black ancestry.

            Liked by 1 person

  • Good morning Rochelle

    What a lovely read. My first story of the day. My first biggest grin. You paint story and characters and emotions in so few words with such masterstrokes. Their hurt and resentment burst off the canvas for me. And I love the way desperation turns to hope at the end. Sublime.

    Shalom

    Kelvin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, Kelvin,

      Your comment is my first one of the day, so we’re even. 😉 Of course it’s much earlier on this side of the pond. Your words were wonderful to wake up to. Thank you very much.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • It’s interesting to see people from that in-between time, where racism is the norm, but it’s also fading from popularity. It could sometimes create a clash of culture in the same family. Love the finish of this one and the pic of the girls. This is a beautifully crafted story, Rochelle.I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      I think I recall from my first go around with this story in Friday Fictioneers that this is a particularly personal subject for you. I can’t imagine a woman treating her own granddaughter so shamefully because of the color of her skin. I’m glad you enjoyed it. There are other pics online of these twins. They’re adorable little girls now. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

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