Continued from #9
By Mugabe Victor
Feene; is a fruit that grows from a tree and can be found in many parts of Uganda. It is rough on the outside and is succulent on the inside. When ripe, it gives off a sweet smell, sounds hollow when hit and produces a white sticky substance when cut referred to as “masanda,” by the Baganda. The colour of the fruit on the inside varies between a deep yellow to orange and it is soft when ripe.
The way of the world is not one of plain simplicity. A pumpkin, large in size and weight is supported by a twig for a stem while on the other hand, a mere fig gets itself a massive trunk.
Sometimes the world develops a conscience; gives the passion fruit a twig and feene an enormous trunk. The variability inspires a certain sense of doubt, though. If the gods were really that smart, why would they create something so chaotic and random. Why bother as a whole to build something so inferior to you? A question that mankind will forever chase, may be until the end of time itself.
A lesson Kano the third would soon learn. His pupils shifted from one side of the hut to the other, as he studied his two brothers. Their breathing, heartbeat, and even slight gestures were a mere instruction manual. Kano the first was mentally exhausted, his eyes were dilated, and he sat in a slouch. His feet found comfort in tremors. A clear signal that a negotiation was out of question. Kano the first was a rush individual with a mind suffering an inferiority complex.
Kano the second was a stubborn block. He sat with his neck curved back to allow his head to rest against the cold walls of the hut. His hands seemed to be made of stone as he held his gourd with a firm grip. His breathing was steady and his brow was furrowed in deep thought. He was distracted, with weaker walls than usual.
Talking was a choice. One that would require swift skill. An easy task for mother, but none for the little boy. He wasn’t as charismatic and no one in the room trusted the other. Crying, an irritating maneuver would drill at their minds. A desperate move that would either seal his fate or save him. Kano the second would probably ignore him again, and following suit, so would the first.
What if he poured all their milk? A viable option that would level the field. Kano the second was the closest and most absent minded. A quick slash would do the job. He wouldn’t be fast enough to take his gourd out of the way. “But that would not be a problem,” Kano the third thought, ” The first would easily share his milk if both his brothers lost theirs. He was the soft hearted and impulsive one after all.”
A fleeting hope shrouded the three in that moment as the moon began its descent. One could only imagine what was happening in their brains as the smallest one twitched like a dying lizard tail. The cold tearing through his skin like a savage beast.
“I want this to end,” he squeaked as he got ready to make his swing.
“Typical,” Kano the second spat, “You go, that way, we’ll know who has really lost the challenge,”
“Why does father hate us? Is it because of the cow? I swear I will take the blame, just make this stop, I let the cow starve to death,” he admitted.
Kano the second stole a glance at his elder brother. The two shared a moment of honest distress.
“Now is the perfect time,” Kano the third thought,” I’ll pretend to throw a tantrum and crash into Kano the second’s gourd,”
Kano the third began to whimper and this grew louder with every second. Kano the first and the second could both feel a certain pressure rising in their chests as the night pressed upon their will.
“FATHER!!!” Kano the first yelled, catching his brothers by surprise. Whatever he was doing was unusual,completely out of character. But anyone would have lost their mind with all they had gone through already.
“Father we are sorry!” Kano the third cried, “Please,” joining Kano the first.
“Father, I promise to take care of the cows better,” Kano the second yelled, capturing the attention of his brothers.
Did he even care? The three suddenly shared a look and explosive laughter erupted from Kano the second. They eyed their brother as he choked on his own laughter like a lunatic. “I will take care of the cows better?” the boy laughed in between short gasps. A hesitant smile grew on Kano the third’s face, and before he knew it, short uncertain giggles were coming out of his mouth.
This was nothing close to what he had initially planned. What held him back? Was it the smiles, the laughter or the warmth? Only the gods could tell.
“I will eat less potatoes!!!” Kano the first yelled right after, following them into their hopeless laughter.
“This little cry baby will get you more skulls!!!” Kano the second shouted as the three continued to laugh.
And yet again silence
“I am tired,” Kano the first sighed.
“I as well,” Kano the second whispered under his breath, a tear flowing from his eye. From despair or from laughter, no one could tell. He kept on chuckling to himself.
“Well, that only leaves one thing,” Kano the first replied as he got up. Taking his gourd, he poured a portion of his milk into that of Kano the third. “Consider this an insult if you will father,” he drawled as he let the last droplets fall.
“You want to know what is precious to me, I like food! I like to watch new life form on this world because of my efforts! I can’t stand your cows, they keep eating my crops and I do not even get a pat on the back for it!”
“I love you, I love mother and my brothers no matter their names,”
“And I love milk!” Kano the third exclaimed,leading to a roar of laughter from his brothers.
“And I hate beans and millet!” Kano the second added, “Here’s what I think about your foolish tasks old man!” He poured a portion of his milk into that of Kano the third ,“Now eat that!”
The three couldn’t stop laughing, yelling at the night to their heart’s content. A flood of emotion washing over them.
And as the night dulled, giving way for the day, Kano the first stumbled back into his corner of the hut in relief. The exhaustion he had felt weighing down on him was long gone. He was happy. He and his brothers had been happy, even if it was for the briefest of moments. The cock crowed, announcing the beginning of a new day, “We’ve won,” he whispered, “We’ve won you crazy old man, come out here and…”
His foot crashed into a hard surface, round, and oddly familiar. A cold dread enveloped him as all eyes stayed fixed upon the milk that glided its way across the room.
White, who knew a color so pure could mean such distress.
To be continued next week on Wednesday