I was feeling particularly grown up when I got up to go to the bathroom by myself. Laid the toilet paper on the seat as my mother had taught us to do and sat down to pee.
On the way back I couldn’t find my seat. In a panic I walked up and down the aisle, searching the rows, looking at the grownups’ heads for my grandparents. Finally, I found them just where I had left them, unconcerned and looking upward, my grandmother’s silver gray hair illuminated by the light from the screen. With vast relief I sat down next to them in the dark theater to resume watching the movie three rows ahead of us, and immediately got the news from the Great Stag. “Bambi, your mother is dead.” At that age, five or six, you can take a lot but there is a limit.
Twenty-five years later I found a Little Golden Book called Bambi in among my three-year-old son’s books. I hadn’t bought it for him and don’t know how it got there but he wanted me to read it. When I got to the page where the Great Stag told Bambi about his mother, I started to cry, closed the book and threw it away.
Author’s Comment: This childhood experience has always been with me. Perhaps in writing it down I had hoped to transfer it out of my mind and onto paper. That didn’t work as, 65 years later, there it still is. Doing some research I recently found out that that Bambi was one of Time Magazine‘s “Top 25 Horror movies of all time.” All is not lost though; there’s still time to save my two young grandchildren.