Thursday, March 13, 2014

The mouse scared of elephants!!

They say that elephants are most afraid of mice. Spotting of a tail let alone the body of the small creature can cause a very big stampede.

I beg to differ.

You see at the start of the year I had vowed to that this would be the year I go back to my roots.

 My plan was very simple I wanted my father to lease me half an acre of his land so that my dreams could take off.

My vision for the year has been growing dimmer and dimmer as the days go by. It all started a week after the New Year; the land in our rural home (or shaggz as many Kenyan youth would call it) was still green form the short rains of the previous planting season.

While performance of maize was not satisfactory, the people in my village were hopeful that they would harvest a lot of the vegetables.

You see we the Taita (the Kenyan coastal tribe that I come from) seem to eat a lot of naturally occurring herbs as of my friends once noted when she visited our home most of which are an acquired taste.

When it rains it is almost like clockwork that vegetables which are now in excess supply are harvested and dried either in the sun as they are or after they are boiled. In this way they are able to stay for longer up to three months providing for families.     

When we were young and my grandfather still lived in a mud house the situation was the same if not worse. the elephants would come to the homesteads and help themselves to the rough surfaces of the homes in the dead of the night just to get rid of a bugging itch.
But I digress. 

While villagers were celebrating the harvests in January
, jumbos from the nearby national park were also thanking their maker.  They became the new menace tearing into the farms eating all that they could.

Recently when I visited our rural home and everyone was quick to inform me of the Jumbo imposed curfews.

 There had been far too many close shaves with most of my relatives as they came from the farm and they knew too well that a city mouse like me cannot be able to withstand a confrontation if left to my own devices.

As petty as this might seem to some, many of my relatives most of whom had close shaves with the jumbos have not returned to the farms fearing for their lives.

It got me thinking, do I really want to farm that much that I would be willing to endanger my own life or that of those working for me? Do I even have the resources to spend on a farm only to have an elephant come trampling on the harvests?

I am forced to wonder how many more people in Africa are found in predicaments similar to that of  my kinsmen and what would be the lasting solution to this?

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