I believe I read this story in my AP Literature textbook, but can't recall the name. It's about a young boy living in South Africa during Apartheid who is ironically killed by the fence surrounding his house that is supposed to keep out bad people. I looked up the plot on Google, but can't find anything about it. I just want to know what it was called.


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The story you remember is "Once Upon a Time" by Nadine Gordimer. It's in collection "Jump and Other Stories" (where I read it). Most of the google returns for it are to Cliff's Notes type sites, so I can well believe you read it in a literature textbook!

There's a summary here. The part that matches your memory is:

The couple settles on the most threatening security system of them all


But the second he wiggles his way into a metal coil, the blades pierce his skin, and he writhes and screams in pain, ensnaring himself deeper and deeper into the wire. The housemaid and gardener come running, and the gardener tears up his hands trying to rescue the boy. The husband and wife run out in a panic as the house alarm—likely set off by the cat—begins to blare. Eventually, the little boy’s bleeding body is removed with heavy equipment. The man, the woman, the housemaid, and the gardener are beside themselves as they carry the boy’s remains into the house.

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    Oh... I do remember that one. The kid sees the razor wire and imagines it as a forest of thorns like in Sleeping Beauty, and that as the hero, he will be able to traverse it to save the princess. Of course, it does not work. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 3:07
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    FWIW, I remember reading it in a magazine, although I don't recall where. Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 10:17