Fiction

My Mother Pinchy

Learning the facts of life

Judy McLain
The Howling Owl
Published in
8 min readApr 12, 2023

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photo from author’s collection

I was eight years old when I found out the person I thought was my mother was not really my mother. Since I could talk, I’d been calling her Pinchy, like everyone else in my extended family but I thought she had given birth to me. I didn’t understand how getting babies worked at eight. Neighbor ladies had babies after an extended period of growing…

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Judy McLain
The Howling Owl

Shit Creek survivor. Storyteller. Feminist liberal. Southern without the accent. Chihuahuaist.