Tall Tales


Wa Makeri, who I met here 🙂 writes and speaks very well. So I was not hesitant at all to ask her to write a guest post. And I am glad she wrote. 


One fine August day, the postman arrived with a request for a guest post from Njenva.  While I was absolutely chuffed about the prospect of being featured on this funny girl’s blog, I was intimidated by the subject.  Where does one even begin writing about the happiest day of an over 10,000 day existence?  There are many days I remember fondly, but I would like to write about them all.  Because they have been my happiest days with regard to various spheres of existence.

 VSo I promised Njenva that I would send her something by the 6th of September.  And on the 6th, I did not email her or call her or text her, because I knew that I would not be handing in my assignment.  I decided to mull over the subject some more, and proceeded to my bedroom.  I slept.  On the 7th of September, I woke up to an amplified silence.
He was in the room.  “Good morning, Mr. Elephant, and how do you do?” I said.
“Very well, thank you.  Very flattered that you have addressed me today.  And how do you do, Wa Makeri?”
“Not very well, I’m afraid.  You see, Njenva …”
“I know all about Njenva’s request.  I’ve been around long enough.  How is your assignment going?”
“I don’t have anything to write.  Maybe I should write about your happiest day, Mr. Elephant”
“That’s not a good idea.  First, I’ve been in this room for too long.  Second, I’m white.”
“That’s not a problem, Sir.  White Elephants are not uncommon in Kenya.”
“That is exactly the problem.  You see, I’m supposed to be a rare occurence, but in Kenya, I’m an everyday project.  I am featured soooo much (and for so many bad reasons) that my only escape is to come and hide in a room, in the hope that people won’t ignore me.  So far, I have been associated with infrastructure, agriculture and tourism and culture.  My coloured relatives are good for tourism, but you treat us soooo badly that our only defence is to trample people’s farms and eat their potatoes.  I am afraid that my happiness will only be a dream.”
I was stupefied by how quickly the tears filled his big eyes and how gently his trunk nuzzled them away.
“Mr. Elephant, I’m sorry to have made you cry, but is there any way that the people of Kenya can help you become a happier being?”
“I don’t, know, Wa Makeri.  To be honest, I always thought that human beings were more superior than animals in their thinking.  I wonder about that now, though.  You see, I will never kill my fellow elephant unless I have to.  In the world of elephants, we take care of each other and we grieve the passing on of one of our kind.  Human beings are supposed to be like that too, but rather than take care of each other, you turn yourselves against each other.  Instead of grieving the death of one of your kind, you kill your kind … and then you hound their relatives into misery and eventual death.”
“That is not entirely true.”
“Wa Makeri, I must remind you that elephants never forget.  Remember, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2012 …”  The pattern has not yet been broken, and as I run through people’s farms and away from poaches, I see that the same selfish ambitions that have driven your kind against itself are the same selfish ambitions that you refuse to wean yourselves from.  You blame it on your leaders, but aren’t you capable of leading yourselves???  I have sat in your room and in many other rooms around the country for hours and days on end, but never has anyone looked me in the eye and sought to address me as they should.  Everyone has blamed it on the weather, on inequity, on politicians or whatever other whimsical reasons they can find.  I am tired!  I am exhausted and all I really want to do is rest.  Wa Makeri, I’m too big to go through most doors in Kenyan buildings … so the more I have to travel without peace, the more it ages my body and wears my soul.  I will only be truly happy when Kenyans stop deferring to their animal instincts and become rational in their actions.  I rest my case”
Mr. Elephant had said his part and because I’d been unable to put up a waterproof defence, I thought that I should make his cause my cause.
The happiest day of my life, then, will be the day when we learn that we are responsible for our own actions.  Politicians cannot be the people who define what, where or when we do what we’re supposed to do, especially when it comes to keeping the peace.

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