We were guarding the herds. Times were hard for all beings. There came the day when a hungry lion began prowling around our village in search of food. Mbelu and I were alone when it attacked. We tried to shoo the lion off with yells but it was just as desperate as we were. It shot towards us, its teeth bared, its blood red tongue hanging out.
Mbelu and I stood side by side, uniting our lances. The initial impact threw us off our feet and stopped the lion. Still it took many more stabs to finish it. Mbelu had been fifteen then and I thirteen but from that day we were considered as men.
Mbelu says Spanish isn't hard to learn, and that most people understand a little
English anyway. Our English is rough and mixed with many words of our own language that
make more sense than the strange terms.
"There will bemisunderstandings," I tell Mbelu.
He just laughs. "There isn't much to be misunderstood. We are honest men looking for
work. Mr Rahmani says the harvest season will start soon in Spain. The farmers are looking for workers and they pay well, up to €10 per hour."
"What kind of flat will we find? And what will it cost?"
"You worry too much, Nkosi. We're together, remember. There'll be two salaries. We could easily live on one and send the other home."
"What if one of us falls ill?"
(To be continued)