A short story about being a child during the Lebanese civil war.

Content Warning: Violence.

Recorded next to a campfire at a wedding in Powys.

Sting by James Iball, photo by Nick Dunlap.

Transcript

Okay, so when I was a kid in Lebanon during the war, around 87-88, my dad decided to go and live in the mountains so we would be safe. So he built a house, and we had a farm and he did like all the agriculture and everything so that we don’t need anything. And he had like all sorts of animals, we had chickens, pigeons, rabbits and everything. And we had two sheep. And we named them Ghandour for the male, and Ghandoura for the female. And I used to take care of the sheep. I used to take them every day so they can eat. And then I had to stay with them, like for hours, and then I take them back. One day, because I was like seven or eight. And I really didn’t know what to do. And I was really bored waiting for the sheep to eat. So I tied them in a tree. Okay, and I went back in the afternoon, my dad told me, where are the sheep, I told him behind the tree there. So he went to pick them up. And he saw the sheep, the female was about to die, because apparently, I tied the rope really wrongly, so it kind of strangled her. So he cut the rope and she was on her last breath, so he slaughtered her. And he came and of course he was about to kill me. And because my dad was like, of course, a person of the war, he made me eat the sheep. That’s the story. So I ate my sheep for like a couple of months.

[Carys]: And so there’s one question I always ask at the end of every story, which is what’s the moral of the story?

The moral of the story is… what is the moral of this story… Yeah, know how to tie a knot actually, to your sheep. And don’t piss off your dad. At all. That’s the moral of the story. Because I killed a lot of animals in my childhood. I killed his birds once, I killed his rabbits, I killed his turtles… But all my mistakes is because I was a kid and he gave me so many responsibilities, which I wasn’t prepared for.