Short Fiction

The Rising Hopes

The sun rays kisses the village of Napetet one , in the early hour of the morning. My brother and i join other village kids to hurry up for school. The village is between two rivers, River Turkwel to East and River Kospir to the North. And we ran towards the north to school crossing river kospir. While inside River Kospir, we could see the meeting of the two rivers, and behind the meeting stands Moru Eethe Hill over looking the meeting of the two rivers. The sun exactly, in half, rises behind the Hill.

The thin warmth of sun rays touches right on our faces, and skins, as we smell the freshness of smell of Acacia trees, forming the hedge of the two river’s banks. The energy in us would keep us running for about an hour to cover about seven kilometer to school.

On arrival to school, Madam Hellen the headteacher , already at the gate waiting, and occasionally, checking at her wrist watch, to time the early comers and the later comers.

Coming later than five minutes was one cane, and ten minutes two cane and so on. we had no watches with us. We could ask older boys what was the times, so that we can hurry up to school, not to be caned for late coming. That was the time when watches were expensive, and having one means you are from a good, if not a fine family.

The people I saw with watches in my village were either working class or established folks. My dad had animals; camels, goats, sheep, donkeys and cows. I rared chicken myself. The number of animals that my dad had were too much, in my childhood eye, than a few thing shopkeepers had in their shop.

  Sometimes if we were late, and we guess, that we could get three or four cane for lateness, we hide in the bush till 1.30 pm. That is when we wait to join other pupils, when they are going back home, but we have already, missed a meal, unless it was a season of wild fruits, we could use that time for fruit gathering.

Normally, my mum would not cook lunch on week days,because she knew we had lunch at school, and she could not suspect we could hide in the bush, and miss class despite of her effort to wake us early in the morning every day. She could not even check whether we learn or not. We did assignments or we did not.Hers was to see us go to school, and we arrive home safe. A bliss or a curse at same time of having parent who have never stepped to the door a school. The only question she could is, what were you taught? and our answer was writing and counting, that was it. No words like can I see  what You wrote or what you learnt.

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