John Oryem Ernest Loguca, Ph.D.

Dance of Memories (December 2021)

Part 1

“After usual downpours,

native birds, orphaned birds

sing their songs to please the world”

The gloomy condensed clouds drifted lazily above Kalker, leaving village folks with no option, except to retreat inside their grass-thatched huts that doted the foot of the mythical mountains. Meanwhile, within sight, lightening kept on splitting skies with ease. Darkening distant colossal clouds and thunder nearing. The morning mood was as if, the village rainmaker was angered, intending to punish the village. Not long ago, he was infuriated when a mischievous lad insultingly compared his bald head to that of an owl. But everyone woke up that morning and embarked on common thing, picking fading hoes and off to adjacent farms. Those who wanted to support their kids with school requirements cursed the thick clouds that was trying to prevent them from going for katala-paid agricultural labour.

August is the fullest month of rains in Kalker. It is time of the year when relation between humans and the skies is lumpy. But who could be against rains even if one’s sorghum is overgrown in the grass? Did E.C McKenzie not say? “Don’t frown at the rains, it’s the only thing that’s coming down.” The bad thing with citizens of Kalker is that, they keep on complaining as if rains will not cease in December.

Kids of Kalker act strangely sometimes. Like their parents, they too, defy roaring clouds that refuse to vacate their village. They run around gathering firewood, succulent maize or violently uprooting cassava. Some of them help their mothers by adjusting pails. Grandmothers however prefer their old pots that no longer ferment soaked sorghum flour. Most households in Kalker use banana stalk as gutter to harvest rains. Kids gather firewood to their elders and place them at common fireplace or at their mothers’ inner stoves. Anyanya war veterans narrate their stories endlessly at fireplace. When the ears of their listeners are inundated with war stories they retreat one by one, disappearing in the cold with folded hands. Some of their stories are frightening. Women of Kalker narrate about folklores, animal stories and teach help youth to learn lyrics of courtship and dirges. Hare is crafty, hyena is the villain, and greedy...coward, tortoise is the judge and elephant the stupid giant. Kids name themselves after animals’ characters. When it is raining and the weather is demanding, parents and kids occasionally stretch their hands and exchange roasted maize and cassava. Outside grass-thatched huts that dominated Kalker, sight of repugnant wet soil speedily scare lazy kids that suffer from phobia of wet surface. Some men have become notable throughout Kalker by avoiding wet season. They do not care if they have wives, children, chickens or goats. They often concoct sicknesses and vanish to Torit or Juba, only to return during harvest and join people. It is the memories of such events and aroma of roasted home crops that send them back to Kalker. In their eyes they see Kalker in clinquant mood when merriment exceeds its limit in March. They vanish with their shame of laziness in the success of the village. These men, when they see puddles and mud everywhere and edges of their well-ironed trousers touch dew, they gnashed their teeth in desperation, unable to stop rains that fall. They are the ones that take lengthy time warming themselves up by sitting near diminishing coal with the rest. They are the connoisseurs of urban life. If it rained the whole day, lots of firewood would have been consumed in the idleness. But who can blame rains that come from Lotti Mountains? After all, far-off and nearby farms are planted, cleared, and awaiting bounty harvest. When it rains soil become heavy, folks wait for the sun and breeze to dry the soil. You lift the soil with your hoe, and if the soil is lighter, then you can dig large portion of the land. And if your field is larger than that of your neighbours, your name will spread like wildfire in Kalker. The joy of daylight took kids near and far from Kalker. They play along the contours of the fields, when the soil was dry enough to harbor them. Boys and girls play hide and seek game. At the edge of the great forest they watch baboons perfect their art of theft while young ones perform amateur mating. It is the month of November when rains wane. Everyone is absolved from farm work. And they play like warthogs that escaped hunter’s trap. The month brings in leisure. It indicates there is satisfaction...sweet beyond labour. When the sun tried to peep Kalker from its usual window above Lotti Mountains, simmering fog and low dense clouds objected. The peak of the mountains was already swallowed. It is that eastern side of the mountains that is revered. The place that gives life. Lerwa was completely by fog. Those who tried to see the old Mission house of Fr. Cereda did it with difficulty and their eyes blurring.

It has been a couple of hours that Okot remained under shrunken mahogany tree in the middle of his mother’s sorghum farm. It is her first season to plant this special sorghum whose seeds were brought from Iyire, bartered with a cockerel that was nearly eaten by ogwang-serval wild cat. Instead of lamenting later on of losing her cockerel to brutes, she decided to exchange it with something of better value. Though initially sorghum seeds from Iyire was praised for being sour and dispelling to birds when they begin to ripe, their war with Okot’s mother was never-ending. They take orders from their gods. Irritating scenes of quelea flocks slightly before sunset sends chilling waves down Okot’s spine. He retires at such mercy to the fireplace where my smoky pans and bowls are kept. These utensils are preserved like inherited articles of the ancestors. He enjoy kicking and gathering useless feathers and throw them into the huge fire. Burning smell however is not pleasing to all his occasional guests.

Other fields of his mother affected too, baboons play with crops at broad day light while porcupines and other night rodents devastate them at night hours. Okot goes home distraught. During other days when waking up early wasn’t easy his mother would pull blankets from his head and shout; “Okot, Okot birds are finishing my millets, get up. Please wake up my son.” At her plea he would hurriedly get up. Dried saliva round his cheeks, his eyes cloudy.

“How long am I going to be a mother and husband of this house?” She had repeatedly asked this question to Okot when he failed to shine

. “Do you think you are still a child?” She questioned.

Okot would lower his head down if his mother amplifies her voice. But this in Kalker children don’t exchange words or argue with elders.

Cloudland was clear that day. It is this very spot that he uses to avenge the destruction of his mother’s ripening crops by birds of Kalker. If idleness trails him, he would quickly engage himself manufacturing bullets from thickening mud he collects from anthill that imposed itself in front of his mother’s hut. He bakes the earthen bullet balls by spreading them on banana leaves, and sometimes he uses pumpkins’ leaves. If it is cloudy, he would roast them remotely by fireside. At times he would bury them in sizzling ashes. But he often made sure goats and chickens are kept at bay from that area, or else another kid will volunteer to keep an eagle eye on the drying earthen bullet balls. From Okot, a reward of a ribcage or whole bird is guaranteed to hard-working and honest lad.

When providence is on his side Okot departs his mother’s farm with bountiful smiles. As he leaves, his favoured pouch weighty with birds he shot with his abutida...catapult. Tweeting birds angering him, turning him wild other days. No one knows why they are destroying fields of Kalker. Maybe they know why they do so. Conceding to such provocation was show of force from the birds. But Okot never regarded their sign of cowardice. In Kalker people always say, “inviting troubles to oneself should be left for birds.” Birds destroy and fly without trace. Okot holds his weapon strongly. His energy undivided, and birds know the acts of his tiny hands. He breathes gently like a child with lizard passing between his legs.

Occasionally he takes home some rodents or ayweri-grey-breasted spurfowl. He and his catapult rarely separated, even on Sundays he will carry it to church. Nonetheless, there are very special days that he never touched his catapult, Christmas, Easter and Assumption. Before entering church Okot would make sure he hid all remaining clay bullet balls from other chaps. He hides his catapult and bullets inside dim caves at the trunk of gigantic kituba-strangler fig tree in front of the church. He must hide all his things specifically from Sister Brigida.

Birds that come from Lotti Mountains and Aliebi forest have colorful feathers unlike useless ones that permanently reside in Kalker. White and brownish feathers are kept as souvenirs by most grandmothers. They are ostrich feathers which are majestic and stronger. Other war veterans also keep ostrich feathers religiously. Occasionally they use them for dusting their rusting rifles while relaxing under trees. That when Rwot...chief Oteka was alive, his regiments annually fetched him ostrich feathers from Lafon. In Kalker, beautiful feathers are used for decorating headgears. Bola-royal dancers are frequently on lookouts for beautiful birds’ feathers. No kid in Kalker saw an ostrich except for those who accompany their parents when they go for medical referrals in Torit. The two ostriches at Torit Wildlife compound are sometimes naughty, but mainly if they are annoyed. With their arrogance towards other creatures they did not produce offspring.

Seasons unveil good and wicked events. Okot’s best moment comes as he enjoys engaging look at the skyline. Birds flitting as if they heard the creator have granted them immortality’s self-determination. They fly and humans go about with their daily tasks. In his isolated spot, weaverbirds and quelea flocks fly overhead, and they descend with majestic formation without warning to plunder his mother’s farm. When he revenges on them with his catapult, his anger reduces. Whenever he heads towards homestead kids trail him. His marksmanship was recognized throughout Kalker. Good number of birds came for bad purposes. Kids enjoy friendly musical voices of other birds, and translate them to Kalker’s language. Toddlers even imitating their flying order and disorder in the sky. They too, knew their migrating seasons. Nothing ever changed rainy season in Kalker to deter birds from their war

. Older kids have tendency of bending over Okot’s shoulders with intention to see what his pouch contains. Younger kids relentlessly shout after him “give us birds, give us beautiful feathers”. And he is befriended by new kids in Kalker. In the past his mother cautioned him not to roast birds at roadside with other kids. It is when bush and crops swallow Kalker, old and young crave for meat like hyenas. Rainy season unveils all types of vegetables. Every saucepan must boil one type or another each day. When humans respond to hunger they end up colouring their teeth green. Boys and girls whose whiteness of their teeth caught public eyes in the past, and had praise songs and poems composed for them become shy and would stop to engage in public debate. Eating excessive vegetables betray them. Eating evergreen otiko... the slippery vegetable is often avoided by those who want to attend important public functions. Otiko is very unpredictable, if it is not detected by lazy tongues, it will eventually lodge itself between valleys of the teeth. And when one giggles in public, it unveils itself between the teeth, green. In Kalker when citizens and their guests repeatedly rinse their mouths after meals, it is when they have eaten otiko. Whatever courage the people of Kalker got for overdosing themselves by eating otiko is only known to them, current and future generation. They have as well gone stylish by cooking the slippery otiko with lagwok-okeng-silver cyprinid fish which was introduced to them by Ugandan refugees who settled at the edge of Kalker after the fall of Idi Amin Dada. Ever since the tiny fish refused to leave Kalker and its people.

Birds continued to chirp passionately as Okot recollects previous evening’s meaningless fracas with kids from neighboring Lerwa hamlet. The commotion almost drew his mother’s attention when she was returning from Ayii River. Had it not because of the balanced calabash load on her head that prevented her from finding out what was happening, Okot could have had another tough lesson from her

. There was a light drizzle that disturbed him, suddenly another flocks of quelea and weaverbirds arrived. Another moment of an ending war. From where he had hidden himself from the birds, he takes aim with solemnity. While shooting he bolts his teeth. Back home at the wall of their hut a portrait loosely hangs. Some days when Okot enters their hut to fetch water from his mother’s pot, he looks at the portrait sternly, and the portrait stares back at him. The eyes in the portrait keep rolling, ensuing his concentration. Previous year after harvest, his relatives came and gave a facelift to their decaying hut. On the day his relatives came to repair their hut two cockerels were slaughtered, and his mother cooked malakwang...hibiscus dish with heavy sesame paste. She also cooked the game meat which she kept in the iron tin, away from oculube...rats. But the favourite dish was olel...pounded cowpeas. It was seasoned with shea butter from Omeyo. Okot’s mother, assisted by his aunts brewed kwete and waragi. Old shortened smoked grass scattered, bamboos, cords and half-eaten poles laid in the compound. Okot’s mother carefully carried the frame portrait and placed it in her big wooden box, and stacked the box in a maize granary. There were many strange faces in the compound. “These are your relatives...of blood,” Okot’s mother declared. She made sure when she utters “these are your relatives” it must be loud enough. Okot would just nod timidly. “They are your uncles, cousins and nephews,” his mother insisted. Okot was surprised to learn that some of the people his mother referred to were his nephews. In the past some came to dig their farm whenever his mother call them to assist. But it was his first time to see such a great number of people converging at their home. Though most of them were at the age of his senior uncles, they respectfully introduced themselves to him as “we are your elephant’s tusks”. That saying refers to someone who is a nephew. Nephews must pay respect to uncles in Kalker because they hold laa...spittle of good luck and of curses in their mouths. Blessings and curses are twins of every uncle. It was a busiest day, Okot was handing cords here and there. “Throw here, throw hard” those at the rooftop would call him. His aunts were stacking discarded grass from the roof and insect-infested poles aside. Okot and other kids were as well gathering some leftovers that they use each morning to warm themselves up with when it is foggy and cold.

Each morning is meant for farm work in Kalker. By sunset the sharp leaves of elephant grass would leave left sharp traces on her hands, legs and torso. Her wrinkle-ridden face pale. Okot mother’s back gradually carved and nothing could kill the cracking pains during lonely nights when she fights her thoughts. Every time she boils coffee, huge, thickly and eye-watering smoke would fume from her chimney-less hut. It is when she settled down that she picks her coffee pot put it on coal, and when it is ready she sips it delicately as if the cup would burn her lips. Sometimes Okot’s sister Adong would help her after preparing evening meal. The mixed coffee from Obbo plantation and wild one from Lotti Mountains eases her body pain. “This concoction is fabulous, it reliefs my headache and backache.” She appreciates. Afterwards she rubs her body with some incensed oil. At times she will call her children to pick thorns from her feet with needle or fishing hook. Thereafter she would be left alone with oculube rumbling on her roof. Some bouncing on utensils at the corners of the hut they knew best.

As for Matilde and her children, they seriously look after their farms...lifeline. At times it seems Okot’s mother speak to her crops; pumpkins, malakwang, cowpea, millet, succulent dodo or okra. She would touch their leaves affectionately and say some words. She touches their hairy leaves like touching babies’ ears. With some crops she would just turn their leaves and move on. The most visited garden is that cowpea. Women of Kalker come to pick their leaves and fill their hands, straw baskets or fanning trays. Those that come hurrying to the garden end up squeezing cowpea leaves in the palm of their hands before quitting. Others that enter the garden empty handed end up folding cowpea leaves with their kitenge wraps. When it is not raining women don’t come to pick leaves. Though Matilde and her children mainly ate leaves from their gardens, they enjoyed it. “Eat leaves my children, be like the rest in the village. Nobody in Kalker knows what you ate in your stomachs. Leaves don’t kill.” She constantly reminded them. Some days, like chicks her children parade themselves in front of her. Though not announced they say, “mother, we are here.” In the morning they would whisper to her. Each with a particular demand; “Mama I want this, Iyaa I want that, Maa, give that one to me.” The last speaker would only shout “Maa!” edges of her skirts are pulled in the silence being initiated. She remain tight-lipped. She sing her songs...dirges. But her white teeth would reveal she was propitious to give birth to her naughty kids. And they too, were consoling her troubled soul. Bold contours on her children’s ribs sustained while sleeping on weaved mat and wrinkled hide is a continuous reminder, there are more to come under the sun.

It is in Kalker where her son’s umbilical cord is buried under oyelu-vitex doniana tree. Whenever she and her children pass by that graceful tree, and when she is happy of course, she points, “your tree Okot, see birds on it.” And everyone in Kalker knew the sacredness of the soil surrounding that oyelu tree. Machete and fire never touched it. Never was it pruned. But when owls sit on its dark branches at odd hours, it scares. Owl’s presence marks weakest moment of life. Okot is continuously reminded by his mother to be be a man. “When I gave birth to you there was no midwife that day. Her foot was swollen. She couldn’t make it here. I delivered you alone under this oyelu tree. I cut your umbilical string with a weeding knife.” Matilde revealed to her son’s life. Every brave child brings home gifts to the parents and guardians. “You have to kill me an elephant before death takes me to my ancestors. Wasn’t I your mother and midwife at the same time Okot?” Okot’s mother asked smilingly.

“Yes maa, but you must spit on my spear first if you want an elephant’s head in your house.” Okot said to his mother. They all laughed amiably.

As they were growing up in Kalker, Okot and his siblings frequently asked their mother about the strange portrait on the wall of their hut. “Who is that mama? Who is that mama?” They meticulously ask. If tired of her children’s irritation she would hurriedly avoid them with some responses, “ok, ok...ok I will tell you.” How much her children coerced her to uncover the mystery of the strange portrait, she kept her lips glued. At times she would be seen gibbering at her kids, yet she would wade through their arduous questions and will continue to do her things, day in, day out. But who among her children could forcefully unplug her lips?

It is the early cockerels’ crows that opens the world and set guidance for people. Their voices are absolute and sacred to farmworkers, forest labourers and students. There are other people also in Kalker that obey the cockerel’s crow they are; Reverend Sisters and Fathers at the Mission and catechumens. They go to the chapel after the last crows. By the time the sun sends it’s piercing rays, birds sing, others fly around and bad ones carelessly force their sharp beaks into ripening crops. As often, Okot performs his daily ritual by inspecting the length and breadth of his mother’s farm. The fire line is two meters from the edge of the thick bush. It separates the bush from their farm. Along his path he inspects his snares of different types; wire traps, nylon nets, heavy wooden and earthen set-ups. It was a delightful morning when he returned home with a male squirrel. He hung it at the pole of the granary. Its head facing the ground. In its dark brown teeth there were traces of long years of theft of citizens’ cassava, groundnuts, germinating maize seeds and wild tubers. Okot’s mother had delayed going to weed sesame that was planted in August and the whole acre was being overtaken by deforming pink flowery shrubs. The appearance of killer weed bothered her terribly. His mother was washing her well-looked-after farm-wares with rain water. When their eyes met from a distant she yelled, “Okot please come here.”

“Me, mama?” he inquired.

“Who else?” She asked and then added, “am I talking to the wall Okot?” her tone changed and got louder. Okot hurriedly left behind what he was doing. He was breaking some twigs to roast the wretched squirrel at the granary’s pole. But he was too familiar with his mother’s rage. Okot got frightened. His mother never spared any of her children with cane if they wronged her. Whenever his mother was at home she always preferred sitting on her wooden stool. And when leaving home for her outdoor chores, she made sure it was properly hung up at the compound’s central pole near family’s abila-shrine. Sometimes she forgets it at the outdoor fireside. Of course it is where everybody assembles after nightfall. Should Okot’s mother find chicken droppings on her favored stool, her children would pay the price of their carelessness with punishment. Severe beating and agonizing squeezing of their cheeks. If deeply infuriated by her children, she used her hardened fingers that had become a set of pliers to hold and pinch outer skin of their stomachs.

“Will you do it again?”

“No, no mama”


“No mama”

As Okot was trying to digest his mother’s urgent summon, she again shouted at him. “You, you, what did I say?” Her sonorous voice pierced his eardrums. “Am coming mama” he responded

. “Sit here, here!” pointing commandingly where Okot was to sit. Confused, he hurriedly followed the direction of her fingers.

“Here” she repeated. Where her son sat was next to her inside their hut. Okot got frightened.

When they confidently sat together, his mother once more said, “come nearer here Lokang my boy.” When Okot heard ‘Lokang’ his heart soothed because Lokang is a name given to every first male child in Kalker. And when elderly relatives call children with that name in Kalker, they reiterate the call with fondly praises. Children with that name have their heads swollen with pride in front of other kids when they are called. Okot’s mother touched his head tenderly. He in turn shook his head in compliance. His mother further adjusted his sitting position so that they look at each other

. “Please, let us knell down for him,” she requested, pressing her son’s shoulders. When she said “for him” Okot couldn’t understand what she meant. She pulled a nearby straw mat that was half-eaten by ants. Last rainy season when the family overstayed their visit in Licari ants overran their hut and ate big portion of their sleeping mat. Nagging goats were already untied from the hut’s poles and were grazing at the sideways leading to Okot aunt’s house. His mother’s face remained stern, looking at the portrait on the wall. As for him, he gained composure and confidence. His mother requested again, this time in a low tone, “let us knell with our knees for him...there my son.” As they were knelling her right hand was stretched at the direction of that physically imposing framed portrait at the corner of their hut. His mother was in a slight trance. Her face changed as if the portrait above them was about to speak. Kneeing with their hands joined, his mother took deeper gasp and struggled to utter some words. Tears rolled down her cheeks, her nostrils moistened. She decided to whisper again to her son, “Okot, Okot this is your father, he was a hero, and he will always be!” Her unsteady voice fading amidst murmurs. When she finished uttering her words something feverish pieced Okot’s body. It was fast, his armpits wetted and his lips glued. He didn’t care about balls of sweat forcefully rolling down his face. His mother continued to mumble some stanzas similar to what women of Kalker sing to departed audacious war heroes. Other times when sons and daughters of Kalker visit home during major feast days, folks sing to them their celebrated war victory songs. Okot and his mother were at standstill, confused, each now with a story to tell.

“When shall we see him mama?” Okot asked his sobbing mother

. “My child, this is your dad...someday, yes we shall meet him.”

“When mama?” He insisted

“Please, today I called you here to know him,” his mother told him

. There was long silence that took hold of both of them.

“Your father was fighting in the bush, tim...wilderness has consumed him, wars of this land...liberation is not an easy thing my son.”

Okot’s mother was overwhelmed with deep sadness. Her voice coarsened once again. Like a child whose roasted potatoes were snatched from its hands, tears loosen from her reddened eyes. Okot calmly placed his hands on his mother’s shoulders and said, “Mama, don’t cry.”

Shortly afterwards Okot and his mother firmly cemented their knees on the floor that have now become sacred. For tears of memories had poured on it. Okot’s mother stiffened herself and courageously wiped her face with the tip of her kitenge...cloth. Whenever she was doing her home errands she would wrap the long cloth round her waist. It is her kitenge that absorbs dust, sweat, smoke, torments and bruises of weeds. Silently she begun to pray. In her incantations she pleaded to the ancestors, saints and martyrs. She lowered her head and genuflected, wiped her tears, and gently asked her son, “let us go out”. They staggered, got up and deserted the scene like strangers, each with glued lips and very dark eyes


Before revealing her forlorn past including the absence of a key person in their lives, Matilde filled the missing link in her family with some pride. During conversions with her buddies she repeatedly refers to her son Okot as her “young husband in the house.” It was that proclamation that fast-tracked her son to represent his father and clan in all community occasions. Okot started partaking in meetings when clan elders go to eat goats accompanying bride-wealth. And when girls from Kalker are married off to other clans they must be blessed. That day people eat goats, chickens and drink kwete and waregi. In the early hours of the day or evening hours elders gather in front of kac-shrine and pass among themselves a calabash almost full with water mixed with their saliva. It is prayer time. When they all said their blessings bulky olwedo leaves are immersed are pulled out. Brides from Kalker departing to other clans are called. They sit facing elders who then sprinkle them with olwedo after ordering them to face the great mountains. In the lead is Kalker’s well-regarded elder Olworo, a stout principal that officiates all blessings upon marriageable girls of Kalker. He prays: “our daughters of Kalker, now that you being married, your wombs will be fruitful and bear many children to those clans. May you go with the blessings of our ancestors. As you relocate to your new homes, may you be healthy and take care of your husbands, in-laws and clans.” They eat and drink kwete and waragi after supplications to close and distant gods. Occasions end with of type of Kalker’s dances before people disperse with delightful hearts to their families.

Okot father’s youthful picture was photographed in October 1968 before his violent demise in line of duty fighting Anyanya war. Like grasshoppers when the bush is on fire, citizens of Kalker scattered. They reached Uganda, Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia and others crossed oceans to reach strange regions. When Anyanya war was over, sons of Kalker came back home accompanied by their wives and children. “We were in Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone”. They mentioned strange names to their relatives and acquaintances. They are to be believed, it is war. When people take cover during disasters, they are blamed for venturing far afield. When these sons of Kalker speak to Anyanya veterans they mention the names of Ojukwu, Yakubu Gowon and Biafra. “We are just like the people of Biafra.” One of the returnees would stress passionately.

Kalker’s primary school kids were named after some leaders who were admired by their parents while in exile. Conspicuous names were of Ojukwu, Mobutu, James Gichuru, Nkrumah, Kaunda, and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Kalker’s primary school best footballer was Bishop Cipriano Kihangire. As for those left behind to confront jellaba and their homeland allies-spies like Okot’s father, their memories must remain with their wives like Okot’s mother. She has to care for every bit of his present, past and future. All weaved in his belongings. Okot’s father’s possessions and other paraphernalia are brought out once each year. On that special day eagerness is seen in Okot’s mother face. The day starts with distant inspection of clouds if they hover on top of Lotti Mountains. If the firmament is clear, that is it! Time has come for her to touch and feel her husband’s presence. A large canvas is spread on the ground, and the wooden box is carried from the hut. Then a black padlock is smacked left and right. If it takes few seconds to open it is quickly greased to soothe easy penetration of the key she has untied from the black string round her neck. After caringly spreading her husband’s pictures, diaries, clothes and medals on bare ground, she would depart to do other things. Shortly she pulls her wooden stool to intensely watch sunrays penetrating the objects on the ground. In front of her are memories mixed with objects. Her husband is in the mirage of virtual distance. No one, even straying chickens did not disrupt the silent dialogue going on between Matilde and her husband. She would hurl chickens and goats with any object.

In Kalker when people go to hunt, animals die and some days buffaloes kill brave men. Such men are sacrifices of the land. Their lives aren’t wasted. At noon, she would pick everything and gently put them back into the wooden box. It will be another year again when that wooden box would be brought out. Its contents emptied to the world. Matilde is the only person who opened that wooden box.

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