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Snail-Blooded Experiences

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SNAIL-BLOODED EXPERIENCES My dad used to work for the UN at Juba, Sudan, near the Ugandan border. Every so often, I remember, he used to go out by a Cessna-98 to somewhere; I imagined Uganda. I had always been proud of my dreadfully inquisitive mind, which my beloved uncle had always defended, amid criticism from my cousins. "Abba, is that plane a Boeing?" I pointed out to my dad. I recalled my dad briefing me about the Boeing and it being a marvellous plane, in his terms. But now, he was desperately trying to wipe off his laughter and burst out "No son, its much much smaller than that. It's a Russian made Cessna-98!" I felt he wasn't being sarcastic so I locked up this bit of 'common sense' in what he said in a distant part of my mind and hoped in future I could use it in a beneficial way! ...read more.


At last I thought this what he said, "Do you like to walk? Maybe we could go down to the forest, it's only 10 minutes." I quickly gestured "Auo (yes)" and then "Mubgbeni Rawen," thanking him for his offer. Oh, I loved that life. When Mluleki took me for a walk, we could see plenty of giraffe and elephant and sometimes, luckily, an exotic wondrous animal such as the Sitatunga or a Kudu, the marks on their fur resembling works of art. A beautiful zebra and antelopes or a hippo would be a routine glimpse. Sometimes, when we often travelled by car through this area, I imagined a giraffe standing in front of the car and that the car ran over it. The car could very well crush under the weight and the legs of the giraffe would end up as an attack through the windshield! ...read more.


Later, I decided I wanted to go outside. I sat down on the grass outside our house, trying to fix my muddled up thoughts. I spotted Mluleki, a good fifty meters off at the same time as the well-known hiss struck. It was sharp and shrill. Mluleki yelled, "Hisham! Hisham!" "Beware, a huge snake behind you. Quickly quickly!" I recognised it straight away. It was the giant amphiuma, sliding at the speed of a sprinter and hurrying towards me. I shouldn't run I thought, as I knew this snake could go up to speeds of 50 m/s. I swerved around to face the battle. The soft crunching of the body among the dead leaves and the constant hissing signalled the snake's anticipation to get me. I was bound to be a goner. I wasn't completely hopeless, though. I picked up a branch, which fell of the acacia tree in our garden. I lighted a fire with some matches. I got the snake, the flames licked onto its flesh and it had lost its eyesight. Then, I took a garden rake and ...read more.

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