2 Jun


jungle photo: Jungle hd_sunshine_hd.jpg
The sky was blue and cloudless just how Owongo liked it, especially when he might find his journey difficult and marred by unknown obstacles.

He was, you might recall, a distant prehistoric ancestor of mine (and probably yours) and he was about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. He was about to set off for unknown lands and a big river (he hoped), and not one step of it in the name of charity.

Owongo had never heard of charity. There was no such thing in his world. In times when life was tough it was very much every man for himself and sod the losers.

“I’m off,” he told his wonderful woman, the cuddly Mirumda.

“Then do it quietly!” she snapped back.

“Okay,” he whispered, and hitching his back-pack of supplies onto his shoulders he set off, first rescuing his home-made walking boots crafted cunningly from elephant dung from where he’d hidden them.

“Crikey, that’s a stink!” came a voice.

It was Longi, at that time Chief of the small tribe of which Owongo was a proud member.

“I’m off on my walk,” Owongo told him.

“Which way might you be going?” asked Longi, “I’ll try and remember to stay upwind of you if I know.”

Owongo shrugged. He’d worked a great deal out, had scraped images of rivers and mountains on the wall of his cave and scratched his head until he almost had a bald spot, but still wasn’t one hundred percent sure of which direction he might be going. Such details had confused him and he was already beginning to submit to the heady aroma given off by his boots.

“If I were you,” suggested Longi, “If I were you I’d keep the sun over my left shoulder, like it is now. That’s sure to guide you in a straight line. That’s it: keep the sun where it is and you’ll get there in no time at all!”

“Get where?” asked Owongo.

“Where you’re going, of course!” grinned Longi. “Now excuse me while I retch. The air’s quite thick this morning.”

Owongo murmured a semi-cheerful goodbye and contemplated the wisdom of his chief. “Keep the sun to my left and I’ll get there in the end,” he muttered. “That’s just got to be sound advice! I wonder why I didn’t think of it first?”

He took his first step-proper away from the village. “One small step for a man,” he murmured to himself, “but one giant leap for mankind!” Then he took his second step and because he couldn’t think of anything memorable to say about it he remained silent. Then a third step followed the second, and he had a rhythm.

“I don’t know why everyone doesn’t do this!” he exclaimed to himself, “there’s no finer way of exercising the body than taking a good long walk! I’m toning up all my muscles and by lunch time I’ll be ready to have a tasty snack to reinforce the inner me!”

He marched along, keeping the sun manfully on his left side. It did involve him gradually deviating from the course he’d thought he’d be taking, and that reminded him that nothing about the world is what you’d expect it to be.

“The gods are good to me,” he gloated, “they’re providing me with a proper straight line when I would otherwise have gone wrong!”

About half an hour after taking that first momentous step he paused under a tree and took a couple of strips of sun-dried meat out of his backpack. The smell of elephant dung hung heavily in the air around him and even managed to suffuse the meat he was trying to chew until it made him vomit.

“I’d best carry on,” he told himself, “and if I keep feeling like this I’ll just have to dispense with my wonderful walking boots. It must be the fragrance…”

So he continued on his way, unable to think of a single memorable platitude that would mark the first step of this, the second instalment of his monumental walk.

This time he found the only way to leave the stench of his footwear behind was to out-walk it, and this he struggled to do, almost running when the way sloped downwards, and always keeping the sun to his left side. By mid-afternoon the boots had disintegrated and he’d left clods of them behind him, and the fragrance of his walking became consequently sweeter.

By dusk he’d consumed all of his provisions, strips of sun-dried meat washed down with a black fermented liquor which seemed more delicious than ever now he was in the wild, sipping it.

Then he stood up, preparing to carry on for another hour before seeking for a place to rest his already weary head.

“Who’s there?” squawked a familiar voice, out of the fading blue.

“Mirumda?” he asked, “is that you, Mirumda?”

“I thought you were on a good long walk!” she said, emerging in a dishevelled state from between some bushes and pulling their reluctant chief Longi behind her by his willy.

“What are you doing so far from home, Mirumda?” he demanded.

“Far from home? You cuckoo – where do you think we are?” she cackled. “Look yonder – there’s our stream and just beyond it our cave!”

“But … but….” stammered Owongo, “I did as Longi suggested – and you can stop holding his organ, that sort of thing’s not necessary – and I kept the sun to my left!”

Mirumda shrieked with a sudden bout of laughter as she let go of Longi’s quivering part.

“You always kept the sun to your left?” she cackled, “all the time?”

Owongo nodded.

“Then all you’ve done, my silly man, is walk in one big circle, and have ended up just about where you started! You should have asked me and not Longi! He’s got no more sense that you! Keeping the sun to your left … I’ve never heard anything dafter!”

© Peter Rogerson 02.06.15


2 Responses to “OWONGO’S WALK”

  1. georgiakevin June 16, 2015 at 12:08 am #

    Absolutely delightful! Not only have you not lost your touch but you in fact have gotten even better in your writing! Write on my friend write on.

    • Peter Rogerson June 16, 2015 at 8:27 am #

      I love exploring the distant past, Kevin, because nobody can say that I’m wrong!!!

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