The big black brazen snake in the park

= 6150

Last month, Mercy invited me out for picnicking, at one of the parks within the Nairobi outskirts.  

She had big news to share and even after persisting that she tells me first, Mercy insisted on face-to-face.  Since we were both broke graduates, we made a small budget and allocated each other on the necessities.

I made chapatis, pilau njeri and minji stew. She brought drinks, cutlery, a Maasai shuka, serviettes and water.

Being the African timer she is, Mercy arrived half an hour late. I had been standing at the park’s gate engaging in small talk with the Keep, although we were running out of things to say.

The talk had become weird, soon after he’d asked for my number. I lied that I was using a new one and had not memorized it yet. He then asked that I instead dial his number. I battled with the next statement as I hated the thought of having to lie twice consecutively.  A voice of reason demanded that I should take it, just in case we had trouble within the park.

 Before he could come up with new requests, I saw Mercy’s figure appearing yonder, and I sprinted to meet her.

I hugged her and swirled her around.

“Jeez. Get a grip, woman!”  Mercy retorted.

She is not a hugger. But I do it to piss her off.

We got a sweet spot at a grass patch near a small group of trees. Walking along we came across three groups of picnickers; an older couple sitting near a small stream overlooking the waterfalls, a group of teenagers singing worship songs in sweet harmony near the fish pond and a group of young men boozing near the campsite, with their red double-cabin blasting intense hip-hop music into the atmosphere. These young men spotted us as we walked past and howled,

“Awwwwwuuuuuuu! Aaawwwu! Awu awu!”

The grass patch was at the furthest corner of the park and well-deserted. Behind the scattered artificial trees, there was a natural thicket that extended into the main park, where wildlife inhabited. It, however, felt safe since from where we sat as we could hear the electric fence buzzing. It is less likely that animals would get past that.

As Mercy unpacked the goodies, I felt a sharp pain in my lower abdomen.  I lay on my back and clenched onto my stomach.

“Wassup?” Mercy asked, looking down at me.

“It’s nothing. Probably a stitch,” I replied.

“But we haven’t walked for that long… Gaah! Your pot-belly is protruding! You should get back to exercising, woman,” She said, pressing it but I stopped her. It hurt.

“It’s very hard. Are you gassed up?”

Mercy knows me well. I can’t lie. I tell her that I have been gassed up the whole morning after having the famous rice and beans (RNB) for supper and breakfast, thanks to my brother’s wicked culinary skills. For courtesy’s sake, I have been waiting for seemingly for an ENTIRE ETERNITY, to find an appropriate place to cut one loose. Now my stomach stretches every single hour, and the pain is becoming unbearable.

“If I were you I’d run into that bush and just blow off. Human! Who are you suffering for? There’s no one apart from the wild animals on that side,” Mercy suggested.

“By the way, I will not forgive if you pop an air biscuit as we eat. I’mma kill you, woman,” She threatened, and I obliged.

I walked a few metres into the thickets and stopped at a dense bush near the fence. I presumed that it was far enough. I stood still to listen to any movements but it was eerie. It was in that opportune moment that I took a deep breathe and let it all rip out. Loudly. Gloriously.  I called my ancestors and moaned in relief as my stomach shrank back into its normal size.

For the first time in a long time, my diaphragm moved freely and painlessly. I could finally breathe again. Speaking of which, I decided to move away from the crime scene before attracting animals with fetishes.

As I turned around, prepared to walk away, I was met by two pairs of startled-still eyes. Two humans stood there, planted onto the ground as Homo sapiens dummies in the Natural History Museum. The female’s back had been arched onto the tree trunk as her legs dangled behind the male’s back. 

The male sapien suddenly dropped his mate and turned around to face me.

There I saw it!

 The one-eyed serpent. 

It was big, black and brazen. The wrangler looked familiar but there was no time to recall where I had seen him from. He was reluctant to put the snake back although the female sapien quickly adjusted her apparel, which was surprisingly ankle length. Too bad her dignity had long disappeared with the wind, together with my magnificent toot.

We held a staring contest before I condescendingly shook my head. The female looked away in shame as I walked away.

As we had lunch that afternoon, I kept mum about the incident. Mercy broke the news of her travelling plans. She had scored a job in Amsterdam and would leave in a few days’ time. We celebrated and promised to call each other often. Hours later after the chitchat, we packed up and headed out before it got too dark.

Just as we prepared to leave, a woman hurriedly walked past our station and it caught Mercy helplessly off-guard. The woman sneered and I scoffed back. Mercy gestured me asking “WTH” but I promised to tell her later. 

As we got near the gate, a man jogged past us and caught up with the woman, who was waiting impatiently a few meters outside. The man was familiar. It suddenly dawned on me. This was the same Keep we had been chatting with, before Mercy’s arrival. I immediately deleted his number and ran the antivirus through my phone.

Minutes later, while narrating to Mercy, I had to pick her off the ground. Every time she laughs, her legs weaken and she exerts all her weight onto me. It got so annoying that I had to skip to the end as she had drawn unnecessary attention.

I don’t think that walls can tell better stories than bushes. Till today, I take an antacid after having beans as I would not like any random surprises in the strange and desolate areas I’d pick to pop my biscuits. Surprises are not my thing, and I’d prefer not to see any random snakes as I indulge into my monkey business.

Story by Hannah Kageche.

Hannah is one of our editors. She has been instrumental in making my pieces complete.

Our last piece for this year will appear on Monday where I’ll be running a long piece, a recap of the year, documenting my unending troubles with the year that was. Until then, stay safe!

Remember, sharing is caring.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

About Mzangila

Mentor, media consultant, photographer, editor, poet, writer, and counselor.

Check Also

The tie that binds

Post Views = 2329 I’m beginning to see the wisdom in keeping an ocean between …

The writer’s curse

Post Views = 17421 Man was born to live either in the convulsions of misery, …

Leave a Reply

Connect with:




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *