Read script 1 if you haven not.
We got home and swallowed our meals in a hurry. We were so excited that people around us became suspicious. I remember my sister saying, ‘Souza is up to something, mama i can see it’ I smiled a boyish and proud smile, asked her to leave me alone and called her names.
Soon Dara gave a shrill whistle, and that was the signal for us to set out. We ran out each from his house, equipped with a school bag and the cutlass. We dress very scantily, for we wore no shoes, and no caps. Each of us had on just our pants and a sleeveless singlet vest.
The journey to the bush was long, but as we chatted all the way onto of our voices we took no notice. We reminded ourselves many times the rules of the game: do not move, do not lick the honey, do not drop the leave in your mouth, murmur the magic words. We spoke of what we will do with the honey, how we would boast of our courage at school the following day, and how other boys from the other villages would envy us. We would boast to our sisters at home Of course our senior sisters would have no part of the honey. We were boys and not just girls—weak and full of tears.
Now Dara stopped suddenly, put his forefinger on his lips to show that we should stop talking. From a short distance we could hear the humming of the bees. Each of us must have felt slightly frightened at the idea of going to face these stinging bees. But if we did, as surely I did, but none of showed it. We moved on.
After taking a bend, we suddenly saw before us a huge fallen tree with a large crack in the trunk. In the crack there was a heap of something black. The humming came from this black heap. This heap we later discovered was made up of bees piling up on top of one another and on top of the honeycombs. A few bees hovered around, settled on the heap and again flew around.
Dara got out of his bag a small bundle of tinder, wedged it tightly between the slit end of a long stick He struck a match and lit up the tinder. He moved up quickly and we followed him. Then he stopped dead and became very still. He stretched forth the stick and the fire scattered the bees. They hummed angrily around looking for the culprits. But by this time we were all standing very still, almost holding our breaths and not winking an eye. We had been very well taught.
The bees settled on us in hundreds and moved over us. They did not sting. We were scared stiff but we all knew that any movement by any of us meant punishment greater than we ever had, greater than the punishment which teacher konga gave us the day we set the school fence on fire. Still the bees did not sting and still we did not move. Fear has seized us. We had lined up—behind Dara. He was doing the job and doing it marvellously too.
We soon saw him put his hand in the crack. He moved his arm so slowly and carefully taking his time that even the bees did not know it was moving. He brought out his hand holding a slice of something dark brown. It was the honeycomb. He was success at last! So we had done iy and we felt much at ease. If only none of us would make a mistake and move! If only Dara would not be tempted to put his honey coated hand into his mouth, we would retain our pride, have our honey, boast at school and be heroes.
Next script: Jungle Boy and the Bees
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