A little dust devil spins in the horizon. A child is amused but too tired to laugh. The crops are dying. The granaries are running empty. The river beds are beautiful works of art. Long cracks stretching for miles. The sun is angry. It shines brighter. The animals are too tired to move. They just have their bones exposed. Sitting under dry tree shades. The trees have no leaves to shade them from the angry sun.
The borehole is the only promise but people have walked for miles and camped there. All containers screaming and scrambling to be filled. The village men feel helpless. They cannot look each other in the eye. Hearts heavy with shame. Their wives looking at them hopefully. They have all ran out of ideas. They are hungry, forlorn, desperate and sad. The village priests raise their voices to the skies. Crying painfully to their deity. We need to pray more. Lord have mercy.
Some crows are eagerly waiting in the horizon. Others stick their talons and beaks into a carcass that lays near a church fence. The smell is foul. People start slaughtering their cows. They boil the meat for hours. When it gets tender, the children eat first, followed by their mothers. They boil some bitter roots. They boil the bones and the soup keeps them going. What was once hearty laughs is replaced by sighs. The men come together but no one has solutions. Tragedy brings people together. Everyone tries to come up with a solution. The sacred tree they once sat below is slowly dying. They sit on the logs and try to come up with something. The air is hot and heavy. Schools are closed. Children cries can be heard. Echoes of death. Desperation. But yet, these people are resilient.
That day, there are about 100 people near the borehole. The village chief had some tents that people pitched to protect them from the hellish fire of the midday sun. This is the case even in their neighboring villages. They are lucky to have this borehole. But today, it has run dry. Everyone is ready to die. The men have no strength to dig a new one. But they have to try. They all get their tools and start one by one. They dig for hours. Their sweat drying into salt and dust on their skin. The men are tired and the women without small children join. The whole village is there. The animals have also assembled there.
That evening, the sun sets differently. The sky turns pink & mauve and then into a deep red hue. They all decide to pray together. There is no water, no food and all their strength is gone. They all let out cries for about an hour and head to their homes. All their work has gone to waste.
People try to sleep the pain and hunger away. Children eat the bitter roots and the soup and hold on tightly to their mothers.
This is the end!
That night a huge sound of thunder pierces the night sky. Drops of rain! They all get out of their huts and houses and scream. Rain! Rain! The rain s warm. Children get out to play in the night. People dance in the rain. They open their mouths and drink the rainwater. The women get busy with their pots and pans. The ground drinks it all up.
The dawn comes with new promises. More rain. The rivers start flowing again. People are still hungry but hopeful. It is still not muddy yet. The drought has gone on for months but they finally have rain. The ground soaks everything ups. Animals drink the water. Women start thinking of what fast-growing vegetables to plant. But the rain doesn't stop. It rains for days. The rivers break their banks. Twigs get swept by the current. People have to move to higher ground. They gather all their belongings. If this continues for a day, the village will flood. The children play in the puddles outside as their parents think of solutions. The cows begin to drop like flies. They drank too much water. What is this curse!
That evening, as they are getting ready to start the caravan, the sun pierces the clouds. There is a sunset. The rain stops. There is a sigh of relief. They don't know whether to wait it out or to keep going. They decide to wait it out. If they die from the floods, they die together. They all go back to their homes afraid and tired.
It is daybreak again. The sun is out and the rivers are full. There are some few clouds in the sky. The air feels different and full of promise. The village men have been tested in two different ways and they brainstorm on what to protect them from such things in the future. Hungry but hopeful, the women can smile for the first time in months. Everyone holds on to their family. Few people can be seen tilling their lands and talking in high tones. It is time to restore& replenish.
Do you have an ending to this beautiful story? I'd like to hear your thoughts below.
Authored by @jeanwandimi
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