Saturday 6 August 2016
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An African Tale chapter fifteen

They arrived back in the village without further incident. Everyone was thrilled to see them and they prepared a big feast for that evening. Lorato pretended that they had gone looking for Aunt Matilda but had been sidetracked by the news at Seronga that there were plans to cut off the water to their Delta further upstream. He told them that they had then gone to The Hills to see if they could find out what Bosula was up to. This worried a few of the more serious elders but everyone else was more interested in having a party. It transpired that Aunt Matilda had been there looking for Lesedi but had gone off to find more comfortable accommodation for the night.

Lesedi’s siblings couldn’t wait to get him away from the adults and hear all his stories and Lesedi couldn’t wait to tell them. In the excitement of the moment he forgot all his fears and elaborated extensively on what had happened. It was marvelous being the centre of attention and telling them all about the strange creatures he had seen. Everyone screamed loudly and jumped up and down when he told them about the chameleons. He didn’t tell them about the Palm Nut or the stone, though. He knew, without being told, that this was not a subject to be discussed. It weighed heavily in his pocket. At some stage he should find somewhere safe to hide it. He was hoping that Lorato would enlighten him a bit more on its significance. Maybe he would ask him in the morning. Lorato would always say, “I will tell you when you are ready” when he asked difficult questions. How Lorato figured out when he was ready, he wasn’t too sure but he felt he must be there by now.

Kgatwe had long since taken off, managing to hitch a ride to his island on an unsuspecting hippo. It was wonderful to curl up safely inside the fig tree where he didn’t have to worry about being got at by all sorts of weird creatures.

Lorato sat with the elders around the fire talking long into the night, long after Lesedi and the others had fallen fast asleep from exhaustion. These were worrying times. The world all around them was running out of water and all eyes were focused on the Delta. Everyone was trying to figure out ways to take their precious water from them. Bosula had always been one of the biggest threats and now he seemed to be joining forces with other interested parties. They had the one boy and the stone they would need to protect them.

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