Monday, September 1, 2008

The Man-Eating Dog

When I was 10, My Aunt protected me from the harsh realities of life as much as possible.

She practically built an impenetrable wall between the world and I. The only movies I was encouraged to see were Cosby shows, news and a few others. Other programs were heavily guided and even my friends were screened before I was allowed to hang out with them. I mean, I couldn't go for birthday parties, go to church on my own etc..

I had this friend, Mariam who she approved of at the beginning because she was her own friend's daughter. Mariam and I became pretty good friends until one day... Auntie was going out and as usual locked the house gate and went away with the key. That way, I could come out to the balcony but not into the main compound.

Before she left, she explained that she was locking me in because there was a man-eating-dog on the loose. The dog ate only children and girls of around my age. They'd been trying to capture the dog for a while and every soldiers attempt had proved abortive, she said there's a price tag on the dog for any soldier who is able to capture it; so, I needed to stay inside, so that I won't get eaten up by this fierce dog.

About an hour later, Mariam who was around my age mate came visiting. I couldn't let her in because I didn't have the key to the gate and I was scared for her because she was exposing herself to the man-eating-dog. I told her about it and she looked at me like I was stupid and she said, "you mean you believe that dumb story, can't you see through, she said that so that you won't come out! There aren't no man-eating-dogs anywhere, if there were, it will be in the news. I've been out all day long and still will be out tomorrow, how could you be so gullible!"
I didn't quite believe she was right, I thought she probably hadn't been told about the Man-Eating-Dog because, it never crossed my mind my Aunt could be lying to me.

When Auntie came back, I told her Mariam was around and she isn't aware of the Man-Eating-Dog; Mariam didn't even believe me at all and thinks it's all bullshit. I'd never seen Auntie angrier all my life. She was so mad and forbade me from ever speaking, hanging out or being friends with Mariam again. Reason, she was too wise for me! Ironically, when she said that, I suddenly saw my stupidity and knew Mariam was saying the truth afterall.

These things make me laught today when I remember them. It wasn't so much fun back then, but as I think about it, maybe it was for the better. I was lucky enough to escape a lot of trouble my mates got into at very tender ages.