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THE LIFE I know today began with my birth. It doesn’t seem much to say, but I want you to know what happened before that. Before I was born, I enjoyed life in a place swimmingly confined and restricted, but really okay. I could kick around and turn over, stand on my head, lots of things.

Then, one day just like all the others, quite suddenly and totally without my permission, the quiescent muscles surrounding me started to work.

“Hey, what’s going on?”

Thrown around and squeezed, to my horror I felt the comfortable sack of water around me start to drain away. I stuck out a foot but I couldn’t stop it. From somewhere I heard a muffled voice.

“It’s coming! How’s that for a healthy kick?”

“What’s coming? What kick?”

No answer! Guess the walls must be too thick.

The muscles worked, and another voice from outside said, “Push…push...!”
“Push? How can I push? I’m upside down. There’s nothing in here to grab onto. Hey, I’m sliding! What’s going on?

No use, hard as I tried to prevent it, I kept slipping and slipping. Behind me, something kept pushing and pushing. Would you believe it, those damn muscles were trying to push me through a narrow opening.

“Give it up! I’ll never fit through there. Let me go back to my reading.”

I could have expected it. No answer.

“Excuse me? Hey, it’s me…hey out there! Stop! This is ridiculous!”

I heard more “Push…push…!”
"What is this push, push stuff? Can’t you see you’re disrupting me? Stop it now or I’ll get mad!”

Nobody listened.

To my dismay, the tunnel opening widened as my head pushed into it. Suddenly the top of my head got cold.

“Holy mackerel, Andy! This is getting serious!”

I felt monster hands groping for my head.

“Damn! Is there no end to indignity? Now I am mad!”

With a final huge push and—did I hear a grunt from above—I was propelled out of my warm surroundings into a harsh, thin, cold, alien environment! A huge hand grabbed me by the feet and held me upside down.

“I was happy! What the hell are you doing? Put me back!”

Somewhere, distant from me, but not very distant, I might have heard a sigh of relief. Suddenly, something came out of the void and smacked my tiny buns, causing great pain.

I let my tormentor know. I gave a yell and jerked about. I didn’t care where I was!

Laughter! Laughter! I couldn’t believe it.

“Laugh it up, fuzzball!”

I squalled! Now I wanted attention. Lucky that bozo didn’t get close, I’d have popped him one. What an affront! Held upside down in a vice and beaten soundly on the butt. Not fair; not fair at all!

And they laughed!

A low voice came from high above. “This one’s got some lungs on him.”

Well, what did you think? I’m just going to hang around and let some monster beat on me and say nothing?

Maybe I should smile and say “Thank you (you bastard)!”

More hands grab me. They’re cold, too. Suddenly I’m flying through the air. Hold on there!

They laid me on a warm surface. Felt like the outside of what I was just inside of. Tie, cut, snip!

“Put a rope around my middle and disconnect my food supply, why don’t you? Okay Bozo, you’ve got control now, but you wait! I’ll get the last laugh, mark my words!”

After that the monster laid my fragile little crinkled body on a horizontal surface and started to wipe me off. Maybe he thought those towels were soft. Personally, they felt scratchy. Why didn’t he have an Eskimo woman chew them for a while first?

“Look. I don’t want to be dry. I want to go back!”

Why didn’t the monster hear me? Someone referred to him as “Doctor.” I don’t think he likes me. Evidently doctor things were around to cause pain and discomfort.

At long last someone with smooth, careful hands wrapped me in a little blanket and whisked me into the air again. Yet another pair of hands took my tiny body and held it.

“Now, finally, this feels right!”

“Oh, my beautiful baby,” came the voice from the grunt from before.

Well, not so bad, I guess. I could put up with it so long as someone would feed me and take care of all my needs. After all, they had been taken care of for my entire life, up to this point. No reason to stop now.

Above me I heard noise and confusion. High voices congratulated the someone holding me.

“What about me? Don’t I get a few accolades? Do you know where I was a few minutes ago?” As I warmed up, I felt maybe a little sleepy. I opened my little mouth and I yawned my first yawn.

More clamor. What is it with these monsters?

“Oh look, he’s getting sleepy. Oh, such a beautiful baby!”

“Well, what did you think you got here, fried eggs?”

I felt tired. Time for a nap, I guess. As I drifted off, I heard a voice in a lower register say, “Well, Mrs. Benton, looks like you’re all set. Now I’m off to deliver Mrs. Jones.”

“Deliver-smiver, glad you’re leaving, Doc. Good riddance, is what I say. Hope you’ll chew on a couple of towels before you deliver Mrs. Jones.”

Yup, that began life on the outside. There’s certainly more to do out here, that’s sure, but I gotta say, the first part was pretty comfy.

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