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In "The Leap" by Louise Eldrich, the first event for which the narrator states that she owes her existence to her mother is her very birth. For, when her young mother was a trapeze artist with the Flying Avalons; she and her husband Harold Avalon would "kiss in midair, pausing, almost hovering as they swooped past one another."
One day when they were performing a sudden storm arose, and lightning struck the main pole of the circus tent just as Harry and Anna Avalon were floating through the air. When Anna's hands did not touch those of her husband's, she tore off her blindfold and managed to twist her body so that she could grab the hot wires attached to the pole. Her hands were terribly burned, but unlike her husband, she survived. At the time she was seven months pregnant, so the narrator was born only because her mother chose not to grab her husband's ankles and instead held onto to a fiery pole.
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