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New Meaning for “Give Him the Finger”

When my uncle was eight, he and a friend were cutting a neighbor’s grass.  My uncle held the grass up with his hand, and his friend wielded the clippers.  The friend missed the grass and clipped off my uncle’s ring finger.  While my grandma bandaged his hand, my mom had to run around the yard, find the finger, put it in a bag, and take it back to the house.  All three of them went to the ER, and for days afterward, my uncle had to sleep with his wrist tied to the bed post to keep it elevated.  Whenever someone in my family mentions my uncle’s “bird claw” finger, we recognize it as a warning, a message to be careful, pay attention to the task at hand, and keep the hedge clippers on the top shelf where kids can’t reach.


Amelia Kennedy

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