Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Hisstory.

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The small farm adjacent to the house is quite pretty. It has all kinds of plantae sprouting in it: green onions, pepper, hot pepper (there is a difference), coriander, kales, spinach, isage and isoik all push up, in small interspersed groups. The healthier they are, the more colorful they get. I love it when it’s rainy and the eucalyptus trees along the edges are full of life, unapologetically rising to punctuate the sky.{PC; Barutti Photography} In one corner of this farm, there’s an aloe vera family. One huge one and four tiny ones. Presumably, a mother aloe vera and four baby seedlings. I visit them regularly. Because I find the aloe vera family therapeutic to look at and touch. Plus, I think I once heard the littlest of the baby aloe vera’s asking, “Mommy, where is my daddy?” I hang around that place a lot, especially when I want to disconnect from my virtual life. When all the suits on LinkedIn begin to look pretentious. When it’s almost Tuesday and words are working together to side-step me. When it is time for chores and bunking seems like a more attractive option. Heck! Technically, all my time is spent there. Until a week ago while I was catching up with the aloe vera plant. My hands were running through the thorns and ridges of its leaves when I noticed an unmistakable scaly pattern on something I thought was heaving up and down. My fingers froze. And the speed of my blood flow doubled. My first response  was to swallow hard, once my mind was done processing the new terrifying information. There it was. The serpent itself, lying behind the aloe vera. Coiled and unmoved. Black eyes staring right into mine and its head standing out like a mushroom in the fields. I felt something move in my stomach. My nerves experienced a pain only terror can explain. Don’t get me wrong, but it was just not normal for that snake to stare and do nothing. I have seen snakes do better on Natgeo wild. I have seen how in a matter of seconds, the reptile could charge and bite. Fangs powerfully propelled into my leg or arm while production revs up in the venom glands . It would then let go, when it was sure that the venom was growing in my blood. Soon I would be staggering, sweating and salivating simultaneously, running short of breath and opening my mouth  to scream for help but then coming to the realization that no one was home and I had to scream louder so our neighbors would hear me. None of that happened. That reptile was either depressed or just utter lazy. It did not even hiss (didn’t tell hisstory…hehe). Which I know should have been the least of my concerns then. I took to my heels but fell down a few meters from where the serpent had been. I looked back, only to find it gone. That gave me more motivation to run to safety because that could easily mean that snake could see me but I couldn’t see it. “Miten indaret imbar,” I said to the neighbors who were having lunch. For those of you reading from Nigeria, that is Kipsigis for; ‘There is a snake in our farm!’ “Are you sure?” the man of the house asked without so much as a streak of worry in his eyes. ” You sound too calm to have just seen one.” It did not help my case when I chuckled and said, ” Haiya! Aki there is one in our farm. See, my fingers are even trembling. And it will get away if we continue to stall” “Fine, come show me where it is,” he said while getting up, not sounding so convinced. “It was there,” I said standing at the entrance of the farm while using my index finger to point. As he began browsing through the farm with a huge stick he’d picked up, I couldn’t help but think; What if the snake wasn’t real? Aren’t those moments the worst? When you know well that you saw something but all evidence does is lie. (Like that time when you saw a stray text in his phone and you brought it up later during an argument. He denied vehemently of course, because by then, the evidence was languishing wherever deleted texts go to.) I was glad when he spotted it and smashed its head so hard, that not even China would be able to piece it back together.  He hung it out on the barbed wire fence. For the vultures and birds to feed on. Ammonia was profusely sprayed around the house and along the edges of the farm. But none of it has been enough to do away with the image of the serpent that now lives rent free in my head.
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5 COMMENTS

  1. I can feel your fear.
    I can’t kill a snake(these evil flat-headed reptiles with vacant eyes).I see a snake and I get out of there real quick, never to hang around anymore.

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  2. It always gets better… kudos Mercy,

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  3. Good job Mercy. I see we have really made good progress on the story telling!

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    • Great work here. I was fully engrossed

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  4. This is great.
    I appreciate you for taking your time to draft this good piece of work.
    Work well done, keep up Mercy.

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