Day 2 of the writing challenge brings us another story told by one of the elders in our family. The story happens in Kitwe, a town in the Copperbelt province of Zambia.
On the last evening of the family gathering, our family elder raised his voice to saying, “cobs of maize (or corn) make sense with a story.” And so he fired away.
A friend and I were walking along the Ndola-Kitwe Road near the Nkana Copper Slug Dump comonly known as the “Black Mountain”. We heard a desperate cry for help. A man had just fallen in a hole, 2 – 3 meters from the road. This was after being chased by vicious dogs that had broken free from a white man who was walking them.
We quickly stopped a delivery truck where we borrowed rope to pull the man up. We could not see the bottom of the narrow hole, so we threw the rope down and instructed the man to tie it around his waist and hold to it as we try to pull him up.
“I can’t do it,” the man cried. “I think my hands are broken”
We could not lower anyone because the hole was too small to accommodate two people. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We asked the guy to bite the rope as hard as possible as we pulled.
I kid you not when i tell you that we laughed so hard at the thought of biting a rope that is being pulled. That is so Tom and Jerry, right? Well not for our family elder.
You laugh but it worked…until the stupid fool showed up ( was it necessary to call a fool “stupid”?).
We pulled as hard and as fast as we could until we could see the man at the mouth of that small hole. Just when we were about to reach out and grab him by his shirt, the stupid fool came from nowhere and screamed, “Mr Bwalya is that you? I have food for you.”
“Yes it is me,” the man replied in a diminishing voice.
As soon as he opened his mouth to answer that fool, Mr Bwalya fell to his death
We were gripped with shock and sadness at the sudden plot twist. So we asked our elder why he told the story.
When you get noticed and finally get the attention you wanted, shut up! You will ruin the whole thing. People have lost negotiated deals because of their uncontrolled urge to keep talking.
Be ready to help whenever the next person or colleague is in trouble. Do not beat yourself if your help fails to save the day. You did your part. It is better than regretting having not reached out to help.
Beware of the enemy within. Not every smile is friendly. The stupid idiot was sent by the dog owner to make sure that Mr Bwalya dies so that he does not sue.
What other lessons do you draw from this story? I would like to learn from you in the comments.
Check out the lessons that come from a tennis ball if you like wisdom from normal everyday items.