New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Short Story - Black and  White (1898)

Short Story - Black and  White (1898)

2023-06-14  Ruben Kapimbi

Short Story - Black and  White (1898)

The rose-coloured sun hugged the reddish sandbanks. Instantly, the governor dinged the chime hooked on an umbrella-shaped tree. The trigger-happy troopers had camped next to the triplet trees peering over the White and Black Nossob. 

Afterwards, the Eastern Hereros squatted on strewed logs next to the slippery rocks.
The natives sipped the brewed leafy tea by wrapping their lips around the steamy rims of the green and red steel cups. 

In addition, littered carcasses of cows that had succumbed to the drought chronicled a doomed story. Only a few curved-horned
cows meandered along the shores of the
twinning rivers. 

Then, the governor brandished a chart of the black and white rivers. 

“Any cow that crosses the White Nossob will be confiscated,” he said, sprinkling white powder in his coffee. 

“What?” asked the headman. “Clue in your tone-deaf cows to stay away from the White Nossob,” the governor crooned, performing white magic.  

The governor’s remarks merged with the mooing oxen. 

Suddenly, a grey-haired man grew tall. 

“The Black Nossob is called ‘Omuramba wo vaMbanderu!” yapped he, practising black magic. 

In retort, his countrymen wielded their walking canes. Soon the firing squad shoots several hallowed cows that had trespassed the White Nossob. 

“I baptise the two rivers as Day and Night Nossob,” the bearded governor said, digging his teeth into the bottom lip. 

Again, the headman clothed in a sea-green coverall jumped from his olive-green chair. “The new names are tongue twisters,” he whined, crisscrossing his magical wand in the charcoaled sand.

“The shrubberies between the streams are a ‘No man’s land’,” the governor declared, pointing at the coming together of the black and white rivers. 

“Our ancestors are entombed next to the triplet trees,” the headman said, peeling off his sunhat. 

“Any cow that crosses the invisible barrier will be dehorned,” the governor said, flicking through a red-tongued book. 

Soon the firing squad sprayed bullets at the black and white cows that had risked crossing the mocking borders. 

There was squabbling amongst the sky dwellers’ tribe. Afterwards, the wrinkled-face chief grew tall. “My sacred cows will crisscross the bedevilled borders!” 

There, under the sun-bleached triplet trees, the firing squad hooked him on a tree and decapitate his head.

“I forbid marriage between the dwellers of the Black and White Nossob,” the governor commandeered. 

Finally, the troopers human shield the governor from the stone throwing mob.

* This is historical fiction.

2023-06-14  Ruben Kapimbi

Share on social media