I’m wearing a white cap and a white coat because is winter and cold. I’m with mom at the butcher’s waiting to our turn. Mom doesn’t speak much Spanish yet, neither do I. I don’t like the butcher’s, because it’s cold and there are a lot of bunnies without skin hanged all in a row over the counter with little heads and huge eyes and it makes me sad and scares me.
Suddenly a lady who wants to be polite says to mom:
-What a sweet girl! what’s her name?
-Olga, says mom
-Oh, just like my dog, says the lady laughing
Oh my God, I have a dog’s name! that’s why I don’t know any girl named like me. I’m trying to hide from the woman because I’m afraid and ashamed.
I know the dog, she is not with her. She is the one who guards the nearby store where a family keep coal to deliver to the buildings in the neighborhood. Is a kind of german shepherd, black from the coal’s powder that always barks loudly when somebody pass in front of the store. A monster for me.
She is the only one Olga I know besides me. Oh my! what can I do? Is this the reason why kids laugh at me so much when I speak? Maybe they think I’m barking like the monster at the coal store.
When mom make her shopping at the butcher’s we pass in front of the coal store and Olga, all black of coal, barks to us. I ask Mom now that we are at our own in Croatian: do I have a dog’s name?
No, my heart (“srce moje” in Croatian, the sweetest words I ever heard by the sweetest voices in my memory), your name is from a saint who was married with a king in Russia and had a lot of kids, and the name of an aunt of your father who was also a very good woman, surely a saint. What I don’t understand is why this people put her name to a dog, maybe they don’t know the story of the name or maybe they use to name dogs with names of people. So, don’t worry, be proud of your name.
I don’t want to cry any more, but I still a little ashamed when we go back home and pass again in front of the store and the other Olga barks once more at us. She scares me and has my name. It’s not fair.