rattlesnake, toxic, snake

Hey there hope you are doing well, I’ve been at home in the countryside Makueni County in Kenya to visit my sweet grandma and put in some hours on the farm. If you haven’t read about other tales from grandma you can do so by clicking on this link Tales of grandma 3. My grandma’s (my father’s mother) name is Muthoki Mutinda, her husband’s name was Mutinda Ngoto, sadly he passed away in 2016.

At the time of writing October 9th 2020 I’ve now been here for a fortnight and life has been nothing but amazing except for a few days where things seem to completely get out of hand. The best moments of this stay come from the time I spend with my grandmother. If she isn’t telling you a story or a secret, she’s constantly lamenting about how she lacks the energy to do things. She wants to do lots of things but she can’t because her body isn’t capable anymore. She’s almost eighty years old and her body is becoming frail every day. She faces each new day with a smile on her face. She’s always the first to wake up at around 6 am and you’ll find her sweeping the compound at sunrise.

When she’s not so occupied with worrying about her shamba (farm) or what my cousins and I will eat, you’ll find her telling one or all of us a story. One such story is about my dad and aunt when they were just children. Dad was about four his little sister was almost a year old. Grandma had let them under a shade while she was weeding. She would constantly check on them however, sometimes she got engrossed in her work that she forgot about them for a while. It was during these moments that she was so caught up in her work that my dad asked her in our native language (Kamba) “mama what is that?”

She stops telling her story to take out her bottle of tobacco. She then pours some of it into her palm and gently directs her quivering arm and pours the tobacco into her lower lip.

Then she gets back to her story.

So dad shouts asking “mama what is that?” she took a look and what she saw made her blood stop.  A large brown snake was slowly creeping to where my aunt and dad were. At first, she just stood there, she was so shocked that she could barely move a muscle. Time seemed to move in slow motion. Slowly she regained her composure and started shouting at the snake waving her panga (farm tool) at the snake. Surprisingly the snake got scared, turned and slipped into a nearby bush. As soon it had slipped away she quickly took her children, packed her tools and left the shamba her body still shaking like a twig and that’s where her story ends. Thanks for reading, take care of yourself.

Below you can watch how people are tackling snake bites in Kenya.


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