Nsekanabo's Chase

“Every dog its day or every bone its dog?” Nsekanabo asked himself. He tried to remember what his grandfather used to say before he died but he could not quite get it right. He glanced across the street. Two nuns were beginning to cross the street together with a group of students. The nuns’ blue and white habits contrasted sharply with the drab grey and white uniforms of the students. The tall nun was so tall and the short nun so short that looking at them, Nsekanabo thought they looked like Mother and daughter. Except there was nothing like that. He knew that there were no mothers and daughters among nuns. When they came close, Nsekanabo could see the shorter nun was not as young as she appeared from a distance. There was a wariness in her face not usually found in children. 

Nsekanabo walked behind Ndahiro, whose bare feet made a slap-slap sound on the cobblestone pavement. As the nuns approached, Nsekanabo could see the tall nun bending to talk to the short nun. The short nun had tilted her head up to look at the tall nun. In her hand she was twirling a dark blue fountain pen. The short nun bumped right into Ndahiro who had stopped to pick up something on the ground. Her pen flew from her hand and clattered on to the ground. Nsekanabo dived to the ground, sliding and stopping next to the pen. He picked up the pen and while still on the ground, examined it, turning it round and round. Ndahiro, with his hands on his hips, was standing over him. Nsekanabo rose to his feet then looking at the short nun, he stretched out his hand and gave her the pen. The short nun and the tall nun looked at each other and their faces smoothed out into smiles.  Ndahiro took Nsekanabo’s arm and almost dragging him, pulled him along the road and away from the nuns.

“Stupid! Your softness will never feed you. Never! That pen was worth a packet of chips,” Ndahiro rounded on Nsekanabo.

“They are missionaries... educated and Christians... I like them. Anyway, they remind me of school. I miss it.”

“Shut up!” Ndahiro told him, “You are a dropout. Live with it!  Missionaries brought books and took our gold. OUR! Gold.”

“I can speak the queen’s language!” Nsekanabo said. “Can you? No you can’t! It’s only a matter of time before I carry that school bag again.”

“Never! Your daydreaming makes me sick! Stop it! Anyway, what about your horrible accent? No one understands you!”

“You wait, I will go back to school and I will be a big man.”

“You will starve first. Stop your daylight dreaming and let’s go and look for something that can give us money,” Ndahiro said, pulling Nsekanabo by the scruff of his neck.

.........to be continued



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