I woke up in the morning. In the usual groggy mode I walked to the bathroom, turned on the light and picked up my toothbrush.
I sensed that something was amiss. I was not alone. I turned to my left--never have I gone from a state of being half-awake to full alertness more quickly.
A goat was standing there, staring at me. I politely yielded and tiptoed out of the bathroom. I went to my dad and uttered a statement that I hope to never say again.
"There's a goat in the bathroom!"
"Yes, I know," was his reply.
"We're going to slaughter it today," said my dad.
I was most disturbed by his use of "we".
My dad had invited the family of his friend for Eid. They were both going to offer the sacrifice together. Four people were needed for help. We had:
- My father.
- My father's friend.
- The son of the friend who was two years older than me.
So, I was the lucky fourth.
We all entered the bathroom. The bathtub was at the end, the sink was at my right and the door was behind me. Within this cramped space was the goat.
We were all on the floor. My dad and his friend were in charge of the front half of the goat. I was holding the right hind leg, and the other kid was holding the left one--he was sitting to my right.
"Don't let go!" said my lovely dad.
I could only nod.
The moment had arrived. After a few seconds of mumbling, my dad started to slice the throat of the goat. Blood gushed out and the goat thrashed. The kid who was holding the other hind leg immediately let go in horror. He turned around and buried his head in his hands.
"Hold it down!" my dad yelled.
So, I was holding both its hind legs as a fountain of dark red liquid poured out of its neck. Its tongue was sticking out and it made a sickening sound as life slowly left its body.
"Good for nothing," said my dad as he looked at me.
I didn't reply. The other kid was still shivering.
I got up and surveyed the mini-slaughter house. The left side of the bathroom had a pool of blood and a decapitated goat lay in the middle.
My job was done and so I left.
By the way, at the time, I was no more than ten years old.