I was walking to the riverside to fetch water that dawn. As soon as I got to the pear tree where we usually picked pears, I found one big snail hiding underneath the parched leaves. I was so happy. I picked it up fast and off I went. When I got to the riverside, two friends of mine had just filled their buckets and were about leaving. Apparently, there was no way I could carry that big bucket from my feet onto my head. I needed a hand, at least. And they were my only hope.
“Guys, please wait for me.” I said. I filled my bucket fast to the brim. The young one had taken the lead by the time I was done. The eldest was still waiting. He wasn’t wearing a pretty face, but I didn’t care. I just needed a hand and not asking him to bow to my throne or anything of that sort.
Apparently, he also had a small snail in his hand. My big snail was still resting on the log of wood and I could see him gawking huffily at it. Has this guiltless snail done anything to you? I thought to myself.
“Guy, I’m ready!" I whispered.
“Give me your big snail so that I can give you my small snail before I’ll help you carry it. " He said, huffily.
"Well, I cannot give you my big snail. And you know that’s impossible." I said jauntily. "God bless you with that and bless me with this, why should I exchange my big snail with your small snail just because I asked you to give me a hand to carry this bucket? "
He turned to the path and off he went.
Fast, I poured half of the water away, conveyed it onto the log of wood, which was a little up, bowed down gently, and transferred it onto my head. I handpicked my big snail and left.
Funny enough, both of them were hiding in the bush watching what I was going to do. I saw their buckets on the way. I didn’t waste my time asking whether they were okay in there or not.
That was the day those two friends stopped coming to the playground. But I didn't care. They formed their own group. But I didn't care. They were passing it around town that I was illiberal, a stingy-greedy friend. But see who was calling me stingy and greedy?
At the end of the day I didn't go home empty. I had water even though it was half the bucket, but I also had a big snail to prepare my soup.
I knew we could go far as a team, but I also realized that, a team of October Eyes always brought troubles. It was better to walk alone, play alone, and carry my own bucket of water, so to speak.

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© 2016 By Richard Paa Kofi Botchwey.

The Tale of an Orphan: A Lesson to Learn