All was going well, as well as it could for an underprivileged Negro living in the deep south during the 1940's. I'm talking about Earnestine's life. I was excited to share tidbits of her story with you, writing about her for the letter "E" of the A to Z Challenge.
As I was saying, all was reasonably well, until Kyane came to town. Earnestine didn't know what to make of her. Was she black or white, rich or poor, human or not--who knew. She seemed around her age but so different from the other girls she knew.
Quickly Kyane inserted herself into Earnestine's family life, cracking it wide open like an ornery walnut. From that time forward, she had her own name for Kyane, as derogatory as it was. This girl, that was part animal, woman and thing, was forever to be known as the Vixen to Earnestine, her mother, aunts, uncles and cousins. Her brother and sister, the twins, were much too young to grasp the full meaning of a vixen. The unpleasant name tripped awkwardly off their tongues too.
Thumbing through the English Oxford Dictionary to the "V" section, you'll see the second definition of a vixen is a spiteful or quarrelsome woman. Merriam Webster calls a vixen a sexually attractive woman. Kyane was that and so much more. All you'd have to do is to listen to what her father had to say to be sure.