My Halloween Diary

Dad’s story for yesterday was amusing and very interesting…

“When we were quite young, my father bought a book for us…uhh I can’t really remember its title but I remember its two most important characters- Shanti and Claire. We all loved the book and we read it over and over again.
A few weeks later my eldest brother brought home two beautiful chickens; one of them had a bright purple patch of feathers on its back and the other had an orange toe, such beauties. We decided to keep them as pets, just as people kept dogs and cats as pets. When it came to deciding their names, it was quite difficult because everyone wanted a different name for them until my mum stepped in and saved the situation. She said “I know what I’ll call them, you with the purple patch, you’ll be shanti and you with the orange toe I’ll call claire”. Oh how we loved that idea because that was what we began to call them and they loved their names because they shook and fluttered so graciously at the sound of their name- Shanti…Claire.
We fed them so well that they grew fast and strong and we trained them to sleep in their cage at night and most especially not to litter the compound with their droppings.
Whenever you called for them; Shanti! Claire!, they responded immediately just like dogs do.
They became popular all of a sudden and everyone loved them- the kids in the neighbourhood called out to them whenever they passed by our house, the market women gave them little bits of bread and fish, the farmers gave them cocoyam and they always got a taste of the tappers palm wine. It became a habit in our house that anytime anyone came visiting, they never failed to call for Shanti and Claire. They were very dear to us, as they followed us almost everywhere: on errands, to the stream to fetch water, to the village square at night and even to church. They stayed with us for two solid years and they grew to be our companions; whenever we were down, sad, depressed, bored and happy, they were always there to share our feelings. They had become a part of us…
One evening, after coming back from the evening market, we noticed Shanti and Claire had not come out to see us, which was quite unusual of them. We went to their make-shift-home and discovered that they weren’t there- where could they have gone to?
We waited for them till the following day hoping that they had followed someone in the neighbourhood home and they would come back the following day however when we didnt see them, we raised an alarm and everyone began to search for them. We searched all over the town- streams, village square, etc but we didnt see them. We called out to them…Shanti!…Claire! but they never came running to us. Sadly, they were never found- Perhaps someone had called them, lured them with food and had taken them away…but we never failed to stand at the compound gate and peer far into the horizon hoping that they’ll one day come running to us again.



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