Once, when he was only seven years old, he saw a scene that lingered in his mind for years. It happened in a busy market place, of course, without cars of today. People, boys, girls, females and men were shopping. Tethered to the ground were a jenny and a jack ass. The boy like the horde of other shoppers saw the jackass keep sniffing at the jenny's dung and then turning his head and nostrils to the sky, exposing large teeth. Later he saw the jackass turning himself loose. He approached the rear of the jenny. What surprised the boy most was the ever enlarging male organ of the jackass.
After a few trial and errors the black baseball bat disappeared while the jackass was clumsily on the back of the jenny. The boy remembered how all the people were frozen until an elderly shouted at the females to cover their eyes and get lost. The females, awakened, obediently left the scene, but the men remained to see the aftermath: the jackass's stepping down while the bat was profusely dripping a white staff unfamiliar to the boy. The boy was mesmerized, too!
Now, in bed, weak and exhausted, he reasoned that he had no resemblance to the jenny. He was a man and unwilling to be jumped on by a jackass. Tears kept rolling down on his innocent cheeks.
Because of nose bleeding, he could not be sent to school, a blessing until the school year was over and he automatically failed due to continuous absences. The boy, weighing the disgrace against schooling, accepted the consequences of no schooling.
He never asked the whereabouts of his father, but one day when the postman delivered a registered envelope that contained some money that could buy them two loaves of bread per day for a month, he realized that his father had moved to a nearby town to work. This made the boy happy.
Day in, day out, the boy remained in the house while intermittently his nose bled. He lost weight and energy. His mother, who owned 4 egg-laying hens, killed them and fed the meat to the son in the hope of healing her son. Female villagers each prescribed something to feed the patient, but the mother had no money to purchase, say, liver or meat.
One day, she opened her small wooden box that contained small articles such as local mascara, henna, natural rouge etc. She fumbled through the box to find her only piece of jewelry, a small gold band that was passed to her at her wedding by her mother. She tried it on which still fit. She sighed but resolutely stood up. Went straight to the goldsmith of the village and cashed it. She took the meager amount of the money to the local butcher and asked for a lamb liver.
(to be continued)