Ndalowa (our days). The days when I had done a mistake and could manage to escape the punishment by a whisker. In all probability, I would tip-toe back as if nothing had happened (tar bende atar kobore nimetoka kucheza ball usiku- another mistake).
Mama new very well if she made a mistake of screeching scares as soon as she felt my presence around the home, I would vanish into thin air only to bounce back the following day like a Ninja. She was poor at carrying over punishments. Either you were skinned alive immediately or few hours later. Otherwise, Siku ikipita, hiyo imeisha hivyo.
Most of the time, I opted to come back late in the evening, thinking she had forgotten it. I would enter the house and begin assembling chickens in their corner. These are some of the moments I had the best stories, especially for her. Ironically, she would respond back as if she was enjoying, including laughing and posing questions.
Almost 30 minutes down the line, the vexed chief-chef would still be head down. She would wait until I have begun my studies before entering the house to deal with me accordingly. Most of the time she would pretend to be carrying something into the house though an ema nopima. Albeit I escaped sometimes, frequently she caught me off-guard. Once she landed on me, roughly 20 minutes was enough to execute Solomon’s Proverbs 29:15.
So there is this day she did a big mistake.
I reminded her on phone few days ago and she laughed hysterically.
She had hidden the cane behind the bookshelf (the same place we used to store bottled-paraffin). Coincidentally, our Nyangile (kerosene lamp) was also cutting back.
” Dadi (my village name ) ol mafuta e taya, odwa sim.” (Add kerosene to the lamp, it is almost going off) shouted Liz, the interim last-born then.
I rushed behind the bookshelf, with the lamp lighting my way, to do so as soon as possible. When I arrived, I realized the bottled kerosene had been pushed behind to create space for agents of transformation. The three straight canes, lying on each other, were well trimmed and ready for the night service. Definitely, they were meant to slaughter me in the second match- after speeding off earlier to narrowly win the first round 1-0.
My next calculation was to escape as faster as I could.
While still cogitating, she called me out;
“Dadi, kele taya no ka kisetieko.” (Kindly bring that lamp once you are done)
I guess she had realized her mistake (hiding the canes in open) and was trying to trickily catch me up as fast as she could.
Still calm in the bedroom, I kept quiet and controlled myself from bursting out. I had realized her plan- both to pick the lamp and capture me.
She remained by the main door (because the whole sitting room was dark), waiting for me to finish.
To save my life,
I blew the lamp off, slipped to the window just by the bedroom’s door, jumped out and vanished in the dark again. Another win .
Silas Odhiambo is the Founder of Silvan News, Reporter and Editor working side-by-side with teams in the field to shape, write and produce unique and dynamic stories for Silvan News’ TV, website and social platforms.