Five Photos, Five stories is a writing challenge whereby a blogger, once nominated, is required to write five stories (fiction or otherwise), each with a photo. No particular length has been set so it is an incredible challenge.
I have been graciously nominated by a wonderful blogger, Fatmawaty who is doing a splendid job not only with this challenge but with other articles in her blog.
I will make my challenge short and since it’s all about 5, I will try and put it at 500 words max. I will also, if Fatmawaty so permits divide the challenge between my two blogs. They are like my kids, I have to divide the spoils equally otherwise there will be pandemonium in the house.
This is the story about a boy.
A couple of years back while doing crazy marketing trips in the Maasai Mara I met this boy. You know how it is when two strangers meet; they shake hands, share a few pleasantries, you live around here? How are the cows and chicken back home? You got a girlfriend, haha, really? Oh, you got 8 kids? Blah blah blah and that kinda thing?
Well, with this boy it was totally different. We neither shook hands no exchanged any pleasantries. I was in the van driving and he was out in the savannah barefoot running alongside our vehicle.
He was grazing a herd of cattle together with other boys. They started running beside our van but he outran them all after a few meters. We decided to stop the car so we could say hi, give him some bottled water and some snacks we had in the car. I had a branded cap with me and I thought he would look cool in it. It would, I thought, come in handy as a shield against the unforgiving Mara heat.
Soon as we stopped he did too. He stood there like a miniature statue staring at us, not uttering a single word. I could see his tiny chest panting as he struggled between catching his breath and wondering what we were up to.
He had these huge eyes which just rested their gaze on us as if we were the last thing on his bucket list. I waved at him, he did not wave back. I offered him a bottle of water; he did not even move an inch.
Then I asked him where Talek, a town we hoped to reach before nightfall, was. That’s when he took off heading back to his herd of cattle and friends. For some reason I just stared at him as he scampered, glancing back at us now and again perhaps to check whether we were following him. Am pretty certain he would have soiled his pants if we dared follow, that was until I looked keenly at his receding backside!
As he was running I noticed that his pants had no backside, they were just held together by a few strings and as a result his tiny bums were dancing away in the Mara breeze like two loaves of unleavened bread on stakes.
I wondered what he had seen in us to make him ran away while just a few moments back he was running beside us. Did we talk funny in a way that he wasn’t familiar with? Or maybe his folks had told him that people in cars steal kids? Maybe he was disappointed to find that there were two black men in the car and not European tourists.
Or maybe, just maybe, his ancestors had spoken to him from the deeps of wherever they were, telling him to run like crazy, that we were from the big city called Nairobi and that we would snatch him and bundle him into our van to harvest his organs!