Celebrating East African Writing!
They are talking about me as if am not here. Dekka’s face is turned upwards; she is telling the clouds to hurry up and cover the sky so the sun won’t see what they are going to do to me. Mama‘s side glance keeps me glued in this position. I want to run as far as my wobbly legs will carry me. You know that look, all mothers have it. Where is sand when you need it? It’s not my fault.
I didn’t mean to disobey Mama; I didn’t mean to leave my baby sister all alone. I have been waiting for her more than anybody knows. I wanted her to hurry up and come out so that Mama could stop sending me all the time. Mama doesn’t realise am not a chick anymore, I’m almost as tall as she is now. I hardly get time to mix with the others these days. She’s always sitting there, watching precious Baby and interrupting my play to send me for one thing or the other. Yesterday it was, “Mengo, go over that hill and tell Mama Nana that I got her message and I will reply tomorrow.” Why couldn’t just send me with the reply?
Today I asked, “Mama, will Baby come out today?” and mama eagerly replied, “Yes definitely today.” So when she went for her early morning walk and asked me to watch the egg I tried to wake her up. I whispered, “Hurry up and come out.” Baby remained silent and then Nana my best friend ran here shouting, “Hurry up Mengo! The others are going over to see the old haunted cave and if you don’t hurry up we will miss them.” “But I have to guard the baby; I have to wait for Mama to come back…” I resisted but Nana quickly interrupted, “Its morning, nothing bad happens in the morning, the baby will be safe” and that’s how I left.
We had a great adventure but it’s no use telling you about it now. I got back and found Mama and Dekka waiting for me. Mama was so angry she sent for Dekka immediately. I was excited to see Dekka, she always visits with surprises for me but then I saw her expression and realised I was in deep trouble. I said, “Mama I am sorry” but Mama will not budge. Mama says I must be punished. My face wears my most repentant expression. More remorseful than the day I was caught stealing Nana’s worms, that was a very bad day. I wish this baby would hurry up and come out of the shell and then they would have something else talk about.
© Annette Lutivini Majanja
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