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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: Chicken Out
By Angeline oppenheimer


If stupid is as stupid does, then bold is as bold does. Bold--I’ve never been. Born in the year of the timorous mouse, I made my appearance when darkness enveloped the skyline. It was dark and safe for a mouse, that is. Weighing barely over five pounds, I grew up to inherit a gain of gall bladder. As my mom repeatedly cajoled me to eat the gall bladder of the chicken to work up some fire and courage, I remained a disappointment.

My mom nicknamed me “little plum”. That name didn’t help one bit. Little in size and little in the desirous category of the bold and “stand up and be counted,” I hid behind curtains when relatives dropped by. I loved to sit behind the heads of bigger classmates, which was often unsuccessful, when the teacher couldn’t locate me and moved me under her nose. Some cure for the chicken-hearted. I squeaked answers when asked and learned to be a fly on the wall--a good listener never comments. I buried my head in books to banish any unwelcome interactions--as long as I don’t see you, you don’t see me “ostrich” mentality.

While my friends got a thrill out of ghoulish stories and begged for more, I plugged my ears and imagined. That imagination transformed itself into monsters below my bed, creatures crawling on ceiling beams, apparition lurking--they all came alive at night, dancing to the crickets’ serenades. If my older sister was up, I attached to her like a leech, too afraid to be in the bedroom alone.

Since I have a retarded gall, my fears encompassed flying objects too. I screamed and ran around the house whenever the humidity brought out the flying cockroaches or “rain flies” as they are called. I was even afraid of dogs. Well, for this one you can actually blame it on a bad experience. A dog flew out of the bushes and left two semi-circles of canine marks on my calf. My brother could never persuade me to go on the wild jungle romp that he so loved. Why? Jumping spiders and toads are unpredictable and for some reason, they love me.

I was branded timid--predicted to stay in line and never grow up to do anything bold.

Years later, my mom must have scratched her head and wondered why she didn’t see it coming. Against my parents’ wishes, I believed in a “Western God.” How could the compliant and shy one think to disobey? I knew I would be disowned technically, in accordance with their Buddhist dogma and be treated like an “outsider. I would be ostracized and accorded no privileges. How did I become so bold? The answer is obvious--the Bold One has “embolden” me. I’m even bold enough to throw in a word that may not exist. Well, it does but that is beside the point.

Since, He has made me bold enough to walk through dark long shadows of the night after Bible Study. On Wednesday nights, my heart would beat in my ears as I scurried through rows of willowy trees with no houses in sight to get home. The fifteen minutes never seemed longer. I had even fought off a human predator on this route. I slept alone, all by myself in a huge house when no one was home. My fears have been tranquilized by God’s power and protection.

Standing in the airport before I boarded the plane to a strange land to begin my married life with a man from a different culture, my mom put her arms lovingly around me, not knowing when I would make the journey back, shook her head and said,

“Who could have thought that so much courage can exist in such a small body?”

Who could have thought?

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This article has been read 612 times
Member Comments
Member Date
c clemons09/07/07
Excellent! A true testament of being renewed in Christ Jesus. No longer a chicken but an eagle flying high!
dub W09/07/07
Very well written. So personal and touching, from the timid comes the bold. A puppy for sure. Great job.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/07/07
I appreciate both the humor and the truth written here. Nice job!
Loretta Leonard09/07/07
I enjoyed reading this from start to finish. To relate a past childhood of shyness into an adult with the boldness to move in a new direction is very clever. Fantastic job on writing on the topic.
Author Unknown09/07/07
I love this-- we are of twin spirits, I was also a very timid girl but found my courage in One much more bold than I. Only writerly type thing I might have encouraged is a little more of a transition on when the big change happened-- but as a whole I really liked it.

and good for you, welcome to the bold club :)
Marita Vandertogt09/08/07
Beautifully written...with an even more beautiful ending... This was so well done. I loved how you described the fears of childhood - you have a way of drawing the reader into your story and keeping them there till the end. Keep writing!
Dee Yoder 09/11/07
Good writing! Very descriptive and lively. I enjoyed reading your humorous accounts of the fears of your childhood. Glad to know the Lord has given you the courage to write and touch others with your writing!
Mo 09/13/07
Niely done. Congrats on your placing!
Joanne Sher 09/14/07
Congratulations, Angeline. In addition to your second place in Level 2, your entry placed 30th overall. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards