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gideon chumo

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By gideon chumo
Monday, April 13, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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motivation can come from every direction-including the most unexpected source!

Some rats perceived a sinking ship and jumped overboard. Others chose to stay put. At the end of the day, we shall know which rats saw things more clearly.

Perhaps it was his wobbling in the dark along a muddy path with the energy levels of a starving village dog. Perhaps it was the slipperiness on the muddy up-beaten track, which was why he had decided in his drunken stupor to take, because his constant falling on soft grass was better than on the muddy quagmire of paddles. He could only curse the heavy downpour for his downfall. For one, he couldn’t battle Mother Nature, who had generously dispensed drums of water through a sieve of the evening sunshine. You could say, of the rain, that a giant wind had taken the sea as an orange by the mouth, and sucking it, had spat in the face of the sun, who winced lightning, and then hurled it all back at the countryside as rain and bolts of thunder.

And there was no denying that he was in a manhole. It was no time to have second thoughts whether he shouldn’t have taken the shortcut path. In his cloudy puzzlement, there was no gainsaying that shortcuts were dangerous. He had fallen into a manhole. His hopes lied drowned in a drowsy sea of despair for when a man fell into a hole, the bottom was there, right there! And there he was, right in the bottom. Lady luck had been considerate, for she never let him break neither his neck nor his limb at the impact of the fall.

Here he was, trying to use his hands, struggling with energy, and zeal to get himself out of the fifteen-feet manhole, but every attempt was a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure because he had never learnt to get better of his life. He always ended a task even before he began. Besides, his one and only exercise? Lifting a beer bottle from the table to his mouth and replacing it back to the table! That’s why the secret forces of despair and guilt seem to pull him earthward, at his every attempt. And he learnt, to his cost, that that kind of struggle was only good for tough mohines, not drunkards with noisy bladders.

He cursed again Mother Nature and gave up his heart sinking with him, as they say, into his boots, at the thought that he was going to spend another night-out, this time in a manhole. Not a comfortable lair for a gentleman who after imbibing one too many, bragged to his mates, that he could drink himself silly out of his five sentences, but still find his way home, and with his eyes closed. Not a very comfortable place for a gentleman who had sworn to drink as long as there was passage in his throat. Nor for one so proud to admit that he was supporting the global cause against misuse of the scarce water resources by drinking beer.

So he made himself comfortable, creeping to the deepest and the darkest end of the manhole the now abating showers couldn’t reach. To keep himself busy, he chanted faint hymns to the cold fruitless crescent, as if pleading to the lunar goddess to petition the wrath goddess against further aggression, against an intelligent gentleman who had been forced to drink one for the road, just to spend time with his fools. Yet the gods, as always, seemed deaf to cries and drunken lobbying, especially ones coming from lips of such a supplicant, for they were polluted protestations, more detestable than spotted livers in the sacrifice.

The rain had stopped. The half moon had long disappeared. Sleep crept at his tortured eyes, coiled itself around his brain, and since it was pitch dark, he could sleep without closing his eyes; the night would have been his eyelids. He caught the sight of a disappearing shooting star-but his blurring 20-15 vision could be playing tricks on him, as he was not sure whether he had seen the meteorite or only its flight. His eyes told him the star had gone to the east. His sank heart thought it had headed for the west. His mind’s eye professed not even to have seen any shooting star.

Somewhere in the near distance, a hound bayed its displeasure at the sound of shuffling feet in the puddles—those of a fat man walking along the same muddy path, and practicing his Triple Jump antics in his bid not to soil his shoes. Somewhere in the far distance, an owl hooted sadly at him, and a huge male porcupine screeched closer to the manhole, a myriad of wings and legs scraped jagged edges to produce a chitinous shrill and never-ending songs. Frogs with swollen throats piped and thrummed to their own tune-time—lending credence to the generalization appealing to fallacy that, the silence of the country was, in truth, silence in name only.


He was even tempted to get back to the manhole, on a mission the like of which he’d never undertaken before—to thank the voice for the greatest gift one voice could give another—the gift of motivation. But that would wait for the next day for he needed full recovery from the daze. The drunk man, of course, had his eyes popping up in the dark the more—than the Richman’s, when he saw Lazarus on the other side, and realized the joke fate had plunged him into.

If the rat cannot flee fast enough let him make way for the tortoise!


       Web Site: Thus Spake Mr. Round Square

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