Sister Josette tells me that no one has any memories before the age of three. I don't believe her, because I can remember the night I was dumped on the doorstep of La Maison Rouge. Josette says I can't possibly, but I can.
Sister Christiane tells me you should never begin a story with 'It was a dark and stormy night', but it's hard not to, because it was. I don't care that they say I was only about a year old. I can feel the coldness striking through my damp blankets. I will never forget that feeling of being utterly alone. Or the sound of the wind howling in the place where I later discovered the willow trees, including my favourite, the twisting tree.
Or the joy of being picked up and held and cooed to. It was Josette, I know it was. But she looked strange. Older than she does today, which is weird, when you think about it. Kind of grey, kind of transparent, all sort of shimmering in the moon.
But I wasn't afraid, because babies aren't afraid of stuff like that. I was just happy to be picked up by someone warm. I expect I thawed out a bit and started to cry.
The other thing I remember is that the red house wasn't red at all - not in that earliest memory. I suppose it might have been a sort of washed-out pink, all peeling. Like no one had lived there for years and years...
You ask how a one-year-old baby could notice or understand all that. Well, I don't know. I'm just telling you what I saw. And it wasn't anything like as strange and weird and horrible as the stuff I later found out about my parents, if you can call them that.
I'll tell you more, very soon.