He could not run any more. A team of village warriors were in hot pursuit. The chase had began at midnight and it was approaching midday. His pursuers though almost a mile away were not giving up. They could be heard approaching with their shouts “Iyo, Iyo, kamata, ua”. They had to catch and kill him because he had become a menace, killing their livestock with reckless abandon.
He came across a lone woman digging her piece of land and pleaded with her to hide him from the onrushing team. The woman gave in albeit reluctantly. She happened to be with her 6 months old kid who was bundled with warm baby shawls, Shukas and a blanket just nearby. She covered him together with the baby. After about fifteen minutes ……sorry there was no way to calculate fifteen minutes. The tribes men hadn’t accidentally invented clocks.
Let’s put it this way. After the time it would take a crowd to run half a mile, the pursuers arrived and after panting for roughly 5 minutes with tongues out and hands to their knees, they asked the lady.
“Have ….you…. seen …..Hye…na?”
“No I haven’t seen Hyena?”
“You… sure? We have been chasing him since midnight and we have every reason to believe he came running this way”.
“Woiye I haven’t seen him aki.”
“What is that bundle over there?”
“That’s my little baby.”
A few men took some steps towards the bundle but halted midway.
The men dejectedly took the lady’s words for truth and continued with their pursuit for hyena.
“We must get the bastard today and kill him. We have suffered enough losses!”
When they were gone, the lady deliberated on waking up hyena from his hiding place but decided against the thought: you do not wake up sleeping hyenas. You let sleeping hyenas lie.
She continued digging her land fastidiously.
After the time it would have taken the men to run 20 miles ,keeping in mind that among them was the great grandfather to the legendary Douglas Waikihuri’s grandfather, the hyena woke up – yawning and stretching- from his hiding place. You know the kind of yawns that force tears out of your eyes? And the stretching that makes your joints crack? Thats how hyena was yawning. He walked towards the lady with incessant yawns.
Hyena broke the ice and the first words that he uttered were “bring your child I eat”
Hyenas do not follow the natural rules of grammar and can put words in a sentence in any order plus contrary to what you would think when a hyena is calm, it talks with a high pitched soprano voice.
“Bring your child I eat.” I bet you would rather hear those words uttered in a deep and hoarse voice as opposed to a high octave soprano.
The lady was shaken by hyenas words and clung to the hope that she had not heard hyena clearly.
“I said you bring your child I eat. I didn’t succeed in my hunting outing the night of yesterday and your kin have been chasing me since ikiria nyoni”
Ikiria nyoni is that time of the night when everything goes to sleep including crickets.
“You are out of your mind. After saving you from the men you can dare ask for my kid to eat?”
“Woman, we hyenas do not argue with women. It is either you bring your kid I eat or I eat both of you”
The lady was not going to win an argument with a hungry hyena who had ran across ridges and ravines trying to shake his pursuers who were hell bent on killing him. You can win arguments but not one with a hyena that has been chased by among others, Waikihuri’s grandfather’s great grandfather whose infinitesimal traces of running genes found their way to the Legend. She was now helpless and if she decided to raise an alarm, there was no one nearby to hear her SOS. Her predicament was compounded by the fact that she had left her phone at home charging. Talk of pouring when it rains.
Moral of the story.
It is immoral to hide a hyena. Each one of us has in one way or the other at some point hidden a hyena. A hyena who in one way or the other cost us or will one day cost us big time.
There is that thief who lives in your neighbourhood, that family member who doesn’t earn a honest living. That politician you support every time they are put on the spotlight regarding financial misappropriation or reckless speech. The colleague who takes other people’s ball pens or phone chargers in the office and you turn a blind eye. Anyone who has never taken someone else’s Biro raise their hands please. None? All are guilty. Right? Thank you for being honest. This shows that there is a dormant element of honesty in you.
If you have ever done any of the above things, rest assured that as sure as Tana flows from Kirinyaga to the Indian Ocean, you will pay for slackness.