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Little Rika

Oh, my childhood was so blessed!

I grew up in a tiny village - just 250 people - in the middle of former West Germany. A village with two churches and two pubs one of which we owned, and a village shop which we owned as well. So for my parents it was work 24/7 and for me it was freedom. My mum sometimes feels a bit guilty because she didn't have the time for me like other mums had, and money was always a bit on the short side so that she couldn't really spoil me. For me it was bliss! My playground was the whole village including the fields surrounding it.

Other children had these chipboard/plastic toy shops - I actually had one of those, too - but I preferred the real thing. I loved to help filling the shelves and my first math skills I learned from serving people in the shop. And I loved to help in the pub. Cleaning the beer tap and pipes was funny. To see a little sponge dashing around like mad - and off it goes into the other direction again. I think we had the cleanest pipes of all pubs. I had great parties because the house and garden was huge.

And hide and seek really 'was' hide and seek. It had a cellar, a huge dance floor (the house actually is L-shaped) and attic and some areas were really old and cobwebbed with squeaky doors. I was strongly forbidden to go there, but of course I had to investigate - and of course I got caught due to the cobweb all over my hair.

We always had dogs and cats and rabbits and a guinea pig once. My mum was member of the German equivalent of the RSPCA. So we sometimes had injured birds of prey. I remember a buzzard called Bruno who got injured when trapped in barb wire. My mum operated him on the kitchen table and when we released him into the wild again we still could recognise him by his drooping wing.

And we had Greif, a hawk with a broken beak from a car accident. We needed several days to find out that a beak grows back - no Internet at these times. Apparently it grew back so strong that he could chew his rope and escaped without being seen again.

School went uneventful, loved biology and chemistry, not really good at math and languages. Made my A levels better than expected and left home to go to University in Braunschweig to study Chemistry.

And from there

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Author: Rika