“When I was five my brother and I made poison. We were living in a city then, but we probably would have made the poison anyway.
We kept it in a paint can under somebody else’s house and we put all the poisonous things into it that we could think of:
toadstools, dead mice, mountain ash berries which may not have been poisonous but looked it, piss which we saved up in order to add to the paint can. By the time the can was full everything in it was very poisonous.
The problem was that once having made the poison we couldn’t
just leave it there. We had to do something with it. We didn’t want
to put it in anyone’s food but we wanted an object, a completion.
There was no one we hated enough, that was the difficulty.
I can’t remember what we did with the poison in the end. Did we
leave it under the corner of the house which was made of wood
and brownish yellow? Did we throw it at someone, some
innocuous child? We wouldn’t have dared an adult. Is this a true
image I have, a small face streaming with tears and berries, the
sudden knowledge that the poison was really poisonous after
all? Or did we throw it out, do I remember those red berries
floating down a gutter, into a culvert, am I innocent?
Why did we make the poison in the first place? I remember the
glee with which we stirred and added, the sense of magic and
accomplishment. Making poison is as much fun as making a cake. People like to make poison. If you don’t understand this you will
never understand anything. ”—Margaret Atwood - Making poison