The Inklings: Chapter 80

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Binta opened the kitchen cupboard and was confronted by Rose’s set of indistinguishable tea cannisters. As Binta tried to guess which canister contained the Earl Grey tea she made a mental note to stick discreet labels on the cannisters so she wouldn’t have to play this game everyday. Binta, Ousman and Mamadou had moved in with Rose a couple of days ago and Binta still felt a bit awkward but things were generally very good. Ousman and Binta had their beds in the back room upstairs. The wardrobe was half full of Rose’s craft materials but Binta didn’t mind. Squashing into the house with Rose reminded Binta of when they’d been kids. Binta liked feeling like a kid again because she hated the weight of responsibility she felt when she realized she was an adult and mother.

While Binta made tea, Rose and Mamadou were sitting at the kitchen table but Festus was outside in the rain. Mamadou smiled as he listened to the rain falling on the roof. “That sound is better than gold coins falling from the sky” said Mamadou.

“What?” asked Rose.

“You can’t buy rain” explained Mamadou.

It was a Monday afternoon in March and to celebrate the last day of work on the renovations they were having a special afternoon tea. Zikpi and her film crew would be coming to film the next day and everyone was going to be proud to show her around because it had all been done on time and under budget, and best of all, the result was amazing.

Mamadou’s garden had been finished before the house, and the plants were thriving. There were already plenty of green vegies ready to pick. As the rain fell Mamadou was imagining the roots of plants drinking it up and the leaves being washed clean. He knew that tomorrow the garden would be looking lush.

Festus had told the others that he was out in the rain to check for leaks in the guttering but really he was standing and watching the stream that Mamadou had built. He wanted to see what happened as it filled with rainwater and flowed through the yard to the waterfall. Festus looked over his shoulder to check that nobody was watching him before he walked over to the waterfall. He was secretly amazed by the water pump Mamadou had built. Festus moved the handle up and down a few times and as he did this water was pumped from the small pond at the bottom of the waterfall up to the tank hidden behind rocks at the top of the waterfall. Festus stopped pumping and watched as water trickled out of the tank and ran down the waterfall, ending up back in the pond at the bottom. As rain ran along the stream into this pond the height rose and eventually water started flowing out of it and continuing down the little river to the big pond at the back of the yard.

Festus took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He could feel rain running down the back of his neck. Festus couldn’t believe how the yard had changed in the last couple of months. The small trees Mamadou had planted and the tiny river he’d dug made Festus feel like a giant standing in the countryside. Festus the giant turned and walked into the house, passing the tiny fields of vegetables that Rose had planted all the way up to the back door.

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