Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dairy Milk Mumblings: A bloated cow, a fainted grandmother and a happy tea ending.

I came out holding the Kerosine and cooking fat to find aunt Beth pale against the lamp she was holding. She was bending over something that looked like a big mũteero log, until I heard her whisper.

using a kasuku to milk

 “Nyina Nyakĩnyua....”

My grandmother’s still figure lay on the ground next to a pile of firewood. There was a knife beside her. I came forward and aunt Beth let out another whisper.

“Nyina Nyakinyua…?”


Our neighbour, had appeared without any of us noticing and being dramatic let out a yell, and she bent near my grandmother. I dropped the paraffin and kasuku and ran to the cowshed.

“Mama! Mama!”

I heard myself screaming.

‘Where’s the paraffin I sent you to get?’

 “Cũcũ has fallen.”  I gasped.

 And he leaped out of the shed and spend past me.

Nyakĩnoru, the cow, started to reverse out of the shed.

I ran back to the compound and found three adults and a boy half carrying  half dragging my unconscious grandmother. When she was laid on the bed, she breathed heavily and tried to get up.

“Mwangi! Ũ Mwangi?”

Outside, the local vet had arrived and uncle went out.
I went out to pick up the paraffin, what remained of it, and the cooking fat and headed to the cowshed.
I stood watching the vet split open a young corn ear, pour some paraffin into it, then rub it all over with  cooking fat.

Kaĩ mwĩ na ageni? (do you have guests?)The local vet asked when the neighbour’s boy approached.

My uncle sniffed and stammered something.

“Mother of Nyakĩnyua had fallen” the boy said.

'Atĩ agũa! Agũithio nĩkĩĩ?
"A, aca, anga nĩ rũkũ rwamũhĩnga," mama answered.

I was sent back to the house.

‘A, ndwagĩtũmakia mũno.’ (you made us worry)I found our neighbour telling the now awake fainter.
“I think I ran too fast to get the vet, so when I tripped over the firewood I passed out.”
‘Nĩ ũũĩ ũria Bethi akũmakĩte,,,,(beth was very worried) neighbour continued.
“Ngai, niĩ nyonire kahiũ ndamenya mũtumia nĩagĩĩtheecire."(Good lord, I saw the knife and thought the woman had fallen on it)
We laughed nervously.
“Inyuĩ, mhu, Nĩ gũtheka mũratheka? Kangĩhĩtirie gathiĩ ngoro mũngĩraria ingĩ.” (Are you laughing?If It had gone into my heart you would be telling a different story)Grandmother said soberly.

‘Hĩ, kaĩ gũtirĩ itathekwo ĩĩ..’ (anything can be laughed about)neighbor said.
The vet entered and seeing all was fine informed us the cow was fine now.

a woman's best friend

“If a cow bloats at night I get very worried." Grandmother said then turning to me aunt Beth ,"Rehera andũ gatubia," (bring the people some tea) so me and aunt Beth went to the kitchen to start a fire.
“Ngũmakĩĩte... (I was very scared)“I said.
“Ona niĩ ndiuma harĩa ndĩ," (me too)Aunt Beth shivered.
And we laughed, and cursed the blasted cow for breaking the fence and getting itself bloated.

Hodi- may I come in? 
Mama- Uncle
Kasuku- A brand of cooking fat, container is usually recycled and used as a jug, bucket, milking jar, flower pot, everything. And everything plastic is a kasuku.

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