On the Heels of the Hill

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Chapter 8: The Herdswoman

Kabahima was one of the herdswomen of the village and she never had a problem people picking nsenene in her farm. Whenever it was the season for nsenene, she herded her cattle on other farms and saved the farm on Buzina hill for nsenene. She owned the biggest part of Buzina hill and her farm stretched from the peak and sloped down through the heels to the river in the Valley. She was in her farm with so many other people all lost in the day’s activity when suddenly she realized there was a tornado of people coming towards them, running away from Rooza. Vangi’s daughter had been covered with a white piece of cloth to prevent the wound from flies, but the piece of cloth had already soaked in her blood and flies had started oozing all over her head.

Immediately Peace noticed Vangi’s daughter had been wounded, she hurried up to her, pulled her fast towards a shed where there was huge heap of cow dung. She smeared a chunk of cow dung on her wound as she said, “This is going to stop the bleeding and dry the wound faster.” Kabahima who was now fast approaching said, “Yes, but remember pepper can never be one of the ingredients of a soothing balm. This is going to cause an infection to the wound.” She then ordered peace to stop adding cow dung onto Vangi’s daughter’s wound and asked around if anybody had water, but alas, no one had a drop.

Kabahima then first addressed the refugees that had just flooded her farm, “Just pick from the grasses and please leave the trees alone, and don’t break the fences.” When her address was over, she escorted Vangi’s daughter, who by now looked withered and was quaking to Nalongo’s to get her wounds treated.

Nalongo had never been a medical personnel but her knowledge of medicine rendered her among others the doctor of the villages around Buzina. She brought out her first aid kit, placed it on a rock in her compound, opened it and got out a bottle of break fluid, a liquid that dries wounds faster. The bottle clearly indicated that the medicine was a veterinary medicine but Nalongo had used it on people as well for as long as she couldn’t remember, and all her patients had healed dramatically. She raised the bottle in the air, snapped at it like medical people snap on their syringes before giving injections. She read the labels on the bottle and smiled.

Meanwhile Kabahima was finishing washing the wound on Vangi’s daughter’s head, cleaned it with a clean piece of lesso and was ready to receive a healing, which Nalongo offered amidst cries and wails from Vangi’s daughter. She had closed her eyes and had thought Nalongo was going to give her an injection in the wound and her heart went on rampage, beating and her chest heaving. She started jumping around like an animal trapped in a cage. Kabahima used all her strength to hold Vangi’s daughter still and she managed because Vangi’s daughter’s energy could not be compared to the big bulls that Kabahima had managed to contain. Nalongo cleaned the wound with her remedy and the girl was told to rest under a tree in Nalongo’s compound. Vangi suddenly appeared. She had rounded up the whole of Buzina hill searching for her prodigal wounded daughter until she finally found out where she had been admitted.

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