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Four Days With Grandpa

Published by Peter Lumba at Smashwords

Copyright 2011 Peter Lumba

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In an African village called Shago, everything seemed peaceful in a disturbing way. The time was 4.45 pm, one of those quiet cloudless warm evenings most old people like whiling away either outside their houses or at the verandas of the local trading centres, basking in the sunshine. The August vegetation was dusty and unsightly and the shambas were bare, for the rains had failed for two seasons in a row. The occasional laboured cries of skinny cows, scraggy donkeys and scrawny roosters added to the anxiety. Fifteen-year-old Tara, a Form 2 student, and her brother, Twelve-year-old Rafa, a class eight pupil, had just arrived home together from school. Their faces lit with delight as they watched their grandfather, Kefa, lowering himself slowly into a chair just outside his grass-thatched mud hut. His hut was about twenty-five metres away to the left of their father’s brick hut. Clad in a red long sleeved shirt, a dark blue sleeveless sweater, a pair of black trousers and rubber sandals made from an old car tyre, the old man settled down to enjoy the warmth of the evening sun. After a long violent cough, he looked up into the sky to search for the moon and ascertain its position in relation to the sun. Placing his frail looking hand above his strained narrowed eyes to shelter them from the direct rays of the sun, he finally sighted the pale crescent moon that he supposed to be about thirty degrees below the sun. The rain that “washes” the new moon is only a few days away, thought the old man. It would reduce the effects of the dusty sunny weather.

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