Beware: ‘Danger’ Within by Samuel Kasankha
BEWARE: ‘DANGER’ WITHIN
By Samuel Kasankha
I touched my little farm in midweek only to find the new caretaker had renamed our dog “Danger”. It elicited an irritated chuckle out of me. Danger really? What a foolish name for our beautiful dog.
These people from Katete don’t quite change. When I lived there in 1970 to 71, every other dog was called Danger! Ours was the only Tiger, till we relocated to Chipata where we found almost as many Tigers as Dangers and Bingos and Scoobies. Lions too but never other dangerous animals like Elephant or Hippo.
The Danger at my farm was a complete misnomer. Like many others named like him, he honestly posed no danger to anyone. The entire eight hours I was at the farm, the fellow seemed very happy. Not once did he growl at anyone, including strangers. If anything, he made feeble attempts to happily wag his tail at every arrival, which tail the previous caretaker had amputated by more than three quarters of it’s normal length, ostensibly to put him in a permanent mood of annoyance and therefore keep away thieves. Futile operation, that amputation.
Weren’t we lucky, really, that the place is so secure the only thief we’ve had since we bought the place was the same caretaker who after working six months decided to give himself early retirement! He abandoned our farm after auctioning off everything we had been investing there except the cottage, the borehole and the water tank. He then under cover of the darkness of dawn walked to the Great East Road and put his wife, his younger sister and their two kids on a heavy duty truck and rode off to his village on the boundary between Sinda and Katete!
“Can you immediately rename this dog ‘Docile’,” I commanded the new caretaker.
He looked up at me and looked every inch baffled and blank.
“This dog is no danger at all so start calling him Docile Njobvu,” I said, adding the caretaker’s surname, much to the amusement of my wife who laughed out loud.
Last night, when I called him for business I chose to tease and find out if he remembered the new name of the dog.
“Simunakambe kuti Dolisa bwana?”