The Swift Cricket

The Swift Cricket

The grassland radiates with lush green vegetation in front of his country home. He sits now at a reading desk writing. A beetle buzzing away out the window. He can see people walking under the sun. The idea of one wandering in a scorching hearth does not fascinate him. He has made up his mind to devote his pastime to literature. He has come to realize the essence of life; he has resolved to make kindness his religion. To do good to his fellow human at all times.

Ngama in his country home is writing now; he’s writing now because he was reading before now. Birds are chirping here and there, now and then. A dove flapping away. An engine of a cutting machine roaring in the distance, chopping off the trees. . . He is still sitting in there facing the window. Crickets chirp in a nearby bush, though, it is not night yet; the rain has fallen the previous night.

He can see the palm trees, their mass of leaves dancing in the distance as occassional breeze blows, flapping their resilient palm fronds now and again, so do the plaintain and cocoa yam leaves- all green and gray. Now, he looks out on the grassland. People are discussing nearby; all he can decipher are voices. He has sat all day. And he thinks his legs need to walk to have outer breeze embrace him. He decides to walk down to the farm when the sun begins to go down, to pluck some pears from the pear tree.

He steps out of the house and meets a friend of his, Udo who exudes youthful vibrancy.
“Udo! Udo!” he utters, “Long time, no see.”
“Ngama, my friend.” that is Udo, he always has a peculiar way of addressing someone whenever pleasantries are exchanged. “Where are you heading to?”
“To the farm to pluck some pears,” he said.
He joins Ngama and together they made for the farm. They get to the farm and Udo decides to climb the tree.

There is this hen and its chicken, five or thereabout scratching the earth in their endless search for food at a corner in the farm. All of a sudden, a brown cricket dashes out of its hiding and flies swiftly as the hen and the chickens run after it. Udo joins the chase and catches the cricket.

To him, the cricket is a delicacy. Ngama walks up to Udo as the latter is about strangling the creature when the former stops him.
“Why?” Udo asks.
Ngama takes the creature from him.
“Tell me the reason why you wish to kill this cricket?” Ngama asks the now puzzled Udo.
“This a delicacy, man. When you spice and roat it up.” Udo returns.
“This little creature was created to breathe and live in fear and pain as man does and as such I do not think this creature deserves to be killed just because it’s a delicacy to you.”
At the moment, Ngama ensures the cricket is safe from the butchery. The hen and its young ones have by now withdrawn onto another search.

Udo still looking at him as a strange one, for Ngama is not whom he used to know. What has come over you? Udo’s facial expression suggests. Ngama helps the littke creature, the brown cricket escape to safety.

Udo can not believe his action, allowing the cricket escape. Ngama has denied the chickens their meal; he has denied a friend his delicacy as well. Ngama does not know why his action has to be geared in allowing the cricket escape unprecetented death.

Udo accuses him of being strange. Ngama tries to explain to him, that he has done so to rescue the life of a creature that lives in fear of the world around it. Yet, he sees Ngama as one who has gone out of his mind. But Ngama is glad; he is glad because he has saved a life, a life of a creature created by the Infinite Being.

What informed Ngama’s action? Ngama does not know at this point. Saving a life, a creature breathing; inhaling and exhaling just like any other human living.

Udo plucks the pears and as tradition demands, the wholesome is divided into three equal parts. He chooses one portion and the other two go Ngama’s way.

Now, they head homeward, walking on a track path and get at a junction which diverges into two, then they part ways as they head to their respective homes, to meet some other time.

The End.



7 thoughts on “The Swift Cricket” by Zanka Uhuru (@dpoetry)

  1. First of all, I must praise you for the courage in writing in a continuous tense, because it isn’t near easy. I think you can write this in the popular past tense and you’ll execute it well.

    But I had problems with the story, the same problem most people writing with continuous tense face: tense consistency. You tried, but there was a point you wrote “said” as the dialogue tag, there were others too.

    I was able to spot one or two typos: ‘roat’ instead of ‘roast’, ‘littke’ instead of ‘little’… et al.

    Then finally, I think the plot is too light. I didn’t see a vivid conflict and resolution.

    Anyway, you tried. You took a bold step. Well done.

    *KG*

  2. Nalongo (@Nalongo)

    I agree with @kodeya.

  3. I like the story Zank…but watch out for typos pls…well done

  4. bunmiril (@bunmiril)

    Occasional was misspelt.
    I agree with the first three comments.

  5. All crickets are swift, except the pregnant ones.
    Nice job, but then, you need to heed what the others have said.

  6. Yhu tried to get a message across and you did it well. Nice experiment with the present continuous , but something tells me using past tense would have been better

  7. Ah… the story felt rather ‘experimental’ to me. It’s hard to explain, but Ngama’s action of saving the cricket felt somewhat contrived. Either he had done this enough times that Udo should not be surprised, or he had never done it before (but we don’t see any sense that this was a new thing for him).

    I liked the opening sentences, which convey an air of tranquility.

    Well done, @dpoetry.

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