I live at the end of a long driveway in a little white house in Quebec with my father, my mother, a big sister named Laura and a baby sister named Elizabeth. At the beginning of the driveway, on the street, is a house divided into two units. Both apartments are rented by French families.

I am part of a gang – the tail end of it. The other members are big kids – two boys and Laura –  all six years old. I am four and am ‘in’ but just barely. Things are tenuous. I have to prove myself.

What does a gang exist for but to make trouble? One day we get into a shouting match with the children in the apartments. They are yelling at us in French and we are yelling at them in English. Then I decide to up the ante. Mom has left some garbage by the door, ready to be put out the next day. I take a metal detergent bottle and throw it with my four-year-old arm in the general direction of the opposition.

Yikes! I hit one of them on the head! And his mother comes out and now she is yelling at us in French. We make a hasty retreat behind our house.

You know what CS Lewis said…Those who are not yet personally really bad, will do very bad things to remain part of the inner ring…

A few days later The Gang decides to strike again. We visit the local tennis courts where some men are in the middle of a game. Again, we start to shout at them. And they say they will call the police.

This is something The Gang is not prepared to deal with. We race back to our house, do a quick run through the kitchen for some supplies – food and a flashlight – and disappear under the beds in Laura’s and my room.

One hour, two hours, and nothing has happened. Finally, senior members decide it was just a threat. We can come out.

Man, I decide, I have been living dangerously. I have been yelled at in French; I have been yelled at in English. Threatened with jail. Life is not good.

So, what do I do? The smart thing. I become a Good Little Girl. I am safe and untroubled for many years.

Until God gets hold of me. And my own conscience begins to yell at me. (In English)

But I have already written elsewhere about that.

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