One of the things that never ceases to amaze me, and which won’t do so until my contract to be a blessed national citizen of what is fancifully known as the Land of Kilimanjaro, as well as a villager in what is styled the global village, is the hobby of human beings to twist languages in a manner that turns us into big liars.
I suspect that animals are aware of that fallacy but, because they aren’t blessed with the expertise of talking, they can’t criticize us. Occasionally, when I critically observe how cows look at me critically, I strongly suspect that, they are laughing at me for being part of the network of liars.
One of the glaring lies is that it rains cats and dogs, for whenever it rains heavily, all I see is a lot of water unnecessarily dripping from the clouds. What I can assure you isn’t a lie, though, is that, in spite of rain and sunshine being harsh in their extreme forms, I love the latter more, or hate it less.
Once upon an afternoon, the sun made a serious blunder by mistaking my home village with some village in the Kalahari desert. It shone upon it to such an extent that – so I childishly speculated and feared ‑ I could be roasted the way chicken is over a grill, as its murderous rays pierced my innocent skin.
I was walking towards the shopping centre to buy a packet of the Ten Cent cigarette brand for my grandmother. At a short distance from the opposite direction, I saw a middle-aged man called Mr Sosipaleli (Sospeter) Otanzanisa ( you play with me at a very big risk).
I moved to the edge of what was three-quarters a path and only one-third a road, but in actual fact a cattle track, and pretended to pee. My nice little plan was that, he would pass by me without the two of God’s blessed children – one young and another grownup – meeting.
After reaching the spot exactly opposite where I was, he enquired whether I was still doing what I was pretending to do, or whether I was through. Sheepishly (I wonder why dullness is associated with the innocent animal) I said I was through.
He moved over, surveyed the area, and, amid a fake smile, he declared that I was a very big liar for which God would never forgive me. He theorized that, if at such a tender age and such a small physical stature, I was such a big liar, I would be a disastrously big one if I had been older and very fat.
His red eyes popping out like a Kenyan Mau Mau freedom fighter of the 1950s, he said that, there was not even a distant trace of wet grass close to where I was standing, and that, therefore, I hadn’t liberated my bladder from excess liquid there !
Mr Otanzanisa made a correct guess; that, my intention was to dodge being sent on an errand of rushing a basket of household provisions he was carrying to his house, which was about one mile farther than my home. He was right, and I silently speculated that he would have done the same if he had been in my position.
Describing me as a little cow (which made me feel that being called a kid would have been preferable), he instructed me to take the basket to his home. He then made a U-turn and returned to the shopping centre, for an outing at a pombe shop. A week later, when I reached the spot where Mr Ota terrorized me, I jumped into the bush like a Congolese Mai Mai militiaman, after spotting him at a distance, to avoid being manipulated as a volunteer luggage carrier and being insulted.
A freshly dead snake (RIP) that I spotted produced a nasty idea. I grabbed it, hid behind a thicket and lay in wait, hyena- style. When Mr Ota approached the ‘historical position’, I swung the snake at him, and by sheer good luck ( good luck ?) it coiled around his neck.
He wailed like the siren of fire-extinguishing truck, made a Uturn and sped towards the shopping centre. A little while later, I was part of a group of sympathetic villagers who encircled the tearful man.
He swore that the drama was engineered by a man he didn’t name, who he claimed suspected that he was fooling around with his wife. He declared that he would visit a famous witchdoctor in Masaka, in Uganda, soon, and contract him to finish off the enemy.
No-one in the crowd knew that I was the happiest spectator of the show, because, in spite of being the engineer of the mischief, I was 100 per cent immunized against the frightening repercussions.