Continued from #8
By Mutebi Wilson
A heavy blanket of silence filled the air as Kano looked at his pot in disbelief. There was no doubt his old man had always been in a bad mood after the loss of his beloved cow and now, this had happened. He was afraid. His father was going to be angry and disappointed. Anger was something he could take, but disappointment was something else altogether.
Dejected, Kano the third turned his gaze to his brothers, searching for answers in their faces but none of them would meet his eyes. No one knew what to do and there seemed to be no way to cover up his mistake this time.
“What should I do?” he finally asked in a low tone. His voice was almost a whisper, but it carried in the emptiness of the hut and seemed to startle Kano the second who had gotten lost in his own thoughts. That could have been him. He had been struggling to keep awake like his brother and was relieved that he had not been the first to spill his milk. As soon as he realised this, he was filled with shame. He should not have been feeling relieved at all. Yes, father would be angry at Kano the third, but the brunt of his anger would cast a shadow upon the mood in the entire household.
His train of thoughts was interrupted by Kano the first who had suddenly begun muttering to himself. He shook his head, it seems he’d have to answer Kano the third’s question after all.
“I do not know either”, he drawled, “maybe you should call on grandfather, I hear he can listen to the prayers of his subordinates.” It was the best he could do. Offer him hope for now. His brother would still have to face father at dawn on his own.
Kano the third hung his head between his legs and sobbed softly, his fate had been set. His milk had spilled, that was an unchangeable fact, what would grandfather do exactly?
“I think I have a plan,” Kano the first said at last.
Kano the third, swung his gaze to his older brother. He was always coming to their rescue, especially his, considering the fact that he had always been called the weakest amongst them. A flutter of hope grew in his heart as he wiped away the stray tears that stubbornly continued to fall from his eyes.
Kano the second on the other hand, continued to mind his gourd but a frown marred his face. “How was Kano the first going to fix this situation?”, he thought.
“What is it?” Kano the third asked. “Tell me how I can fix this,” he pleaded.
“We can share our milk with you …”
“What do you mean?” interrupted Kano the second, “Father will surely notice and we’d simply add more misery to his broken heart.This was a test and Kano the third should be left to suffer his fate!”
Upon hearing these words, Kano the first sighed in defeat. Kano the second was right. There was no way to help his little brother at least without disappointing father. For Kano the third, the flame of hope that had begun to grow within the caverns of his soul burned out and he decided to think of a plan. How could he put the milk back into his pot? How was he going to outsmart his brothers this time, who still had full gourds of milk? It was not the time for him to give up and he would have a gourd of milk before dawn.
To be continued next week on Wednesday