birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Goat Soup

When I was five years old, I was living in Seoul, where you could find men with packs of live goats at the open markets. I didn’t know what the goats were for; I just saw them there when I tagged along with my mom on her shopping trips.

One day, I came home after playing outside and headed into the kitchen.

“Don’t go in there!” my mom shouted after me.

I’d already opened the door into the kitchen. There, I saw a dead goat hanging from the wall. Its eyes were open and glazed over and a man standing in front of it, probably skinning it. I remember locking eyes with the dead goat and I was frightened. I ran back inside. I found out later that mom purchased one of those live goats from the market to make a special goat soup for my dad who was feeling unwell.

There's Dust