Shut Your Mouth – #WinterABC2022 (Day 2)

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.

The Black Mountain along Ndola-Kitwe Road

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, just shut up! You will ruin the whole thing. People have lost good, effectively 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 up if your help fails to save the day. You did your part. Being helpful is better than regretting not having 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.


14 thoughts on “Shut Your Mouth – #WinterABC2022 (Day 2)

  1. I wholeheartedly cherish the gist of wisdom this auspicious story brings to the table. Allow me shade more astute by citing how aggressive
    we toil to be celebrities and when popular or at the top we tend to wear shade glasses to disguise ourselves for survival from on lookers and the enemy too.
    We must watch our utterances when in the lime light in all our endeavour of life taking cognisance that NOT EVERY ONE IS HAPPY with your success.
    Thanks best friend and intellectual Lazarus for your candid thinking and shrewd writing skill.
    I submit !!
    Builders Zambia La

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Story Mr Banda and very encouraging and teaching…..I have learnt a lot one of the lessons is to help when ever my help is needed…..this is so great

    Liked by 1 person

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