Monday, November 5, 2012

Dragon by the Nile, by Big Sister: Part One

Mandisa!  Stop pulling Kosey’s tail!”  cried Halima.  Her baby sister just giggled, and grabbed a handful of the cat’s yellowish fur.  Kosey put his ears back flat against his head, then wriggled free and sprang out the door, where Halima’s mother had just a appeared. She looked at Halima’s hot, frustrated face.  “I’ll watch Mandisa now,  and you can go get some bread,” she said, handing Halima some coins.  “You may as well take Dakarai and Amil.”  Dakarai and Amil were the youngest of Halima’s four brothers. They had to stay at home, while the older two, Nakhti and Mensah, were old enough to work in the fields with their father.

Halima was soon trotting down the dusty road towards the marketplace, the warm damp hands of her brothers held tightly in hers.  By the time they got home it was dusk, and Halima’s brothers, along with her father, had returned from the fields. Mensah, who at ten years of age was two years younger than Halima, was bursting with news.  

“Have you heard about the dragon?”  he asked, his eyes shining with excitement.  Halima shook her head.

“Well, I’ll tell you then.  A man named Gudu -or was it Habu?- was cutting reeds when a huge dragon rose out of the depths of the Nile! They say it was the size of the great pyramid, had eyes like great pools of fire and gigantic teeth sharper than arrows.”  Mensah paused for effect.

 “What happened?”  Halima’s eyes were wide.  This was not like Mensah’s usual stories of robberies or new babies.

“Just as it was about to eat the man all up, he  threw his scythe in its mouth and ran away as fast as he could to warn everyone.  But when they went to search for it.... it had disappeared into thin air.  So the dragon is still alive-- and somewhere in Egypt!’’

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