"Aunt Fern told me a story, an embarrassing lesson she learned, when she was a young school girl," my mom started.
"She told you while you were living with her? When you were a young girl?" I questioned.
"Go on," I urged.
"Well, when she was a about ten years old, and this was around 1906, mind you, she was walking to school, just like I had to when I ended up going to the same school as she."
"Really? You went to the same school?" I asked.
"Uh huh. Different decades, of course," my mom made clear.
"A-n-y way," my mom wanted to continue.
I nodded encouragement.
"Everyday, she had to pass the prison located next to the school. Aunt Fern saw prisoners sitting down. Resting. She assumed. Sitting on the huge metal balls that were chained to their ankles."
"Seriously? Sitting right there? Out in the open? As people walked by? Near the school?" I was amazed.
My mom nodded.
Up and down.
She looked like she had just realized how weird that was. For prisoners to just be sitting there.
"Weird," I said.
"Hm," was her only response.
"I guess that was normal back then. Well, anyway, Aunt Fern just walked by. Without a word. Just walked onto the school grounds, into her classroom.
'Those men out there are sitting on their balls,' she told the class of students, and the teacher."
"Everyone busted out laughing," my mom's eyes lit with humor.
"Aunt Fern was confused," my mom giggled. "She didn't understand the concept of what she had said. The meaning behind it."
'What's so funny?' she asked her school mate.
"Aunt Fern told me all she could do was simply lower her head into her hands, and slowly move it to and fro," my mom smirked.