Tag Archives: Aminata

The Inklings: Chapter 107

To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/

Festus came home from work a bit early on Tuesday so he could continue working on the ramps for Penny. India was anxious that he install them at her place no later than Wednesday because she wanted it to be all ready when Penny arrived home on Thursday.

When Festus opened the front door he could hear laughter so he walked towards the sound and discovered that Rose, India and Amanda were out the back. They were laughing because India had accidentally wiped paint on her face. Festus wondered what they were painting and then he noticed that it was the wheelchair ramps.

Rose was the first to notice Festus. “India wasn’t sure you’d have time to finish the ramps before tomorrow so we decided to do it ourselves” said Rose. “I know you were enjoying yourself, so I’m sorry. But India has plenty of other jobs for you if you are interested”

“Paid jobs, remember” said India. “Starting with a greywater system”

Festus had to suppress the urge to roll his eyes. He’d been expecting India to ask him for a greywater system ever since Rose had asked him for one. Festus was about to ask Amanda how she was going but she’d gone. Festus wanted to ask Rose about Amanda but decided to wait until India had gone home. Instead Festus went and washed his hands and started cooking dinner. He was craving extremely spicy beans.

Festus was washing some dried beans when Aminata started making an excited ‘Clink clink’ sound and flew over to the front window. Ousman soon came in the front door and Aminata jumped onto his shoulder. Ousman went to the kitchen to get a drink of water and looked surprised to see Festus there.

“Where’s my Mum?” asked Ousman.

Before Festus could answer Binta called out “I’m here” and Ousman went to find her.

After Festus put the beans on the stove to cook he could hear more laughing in the backyard and so he decided to go and join in the fun.

Festus could see that Binta, Ousman, Rose and India were all laughing at something in one of the trees. When Festus got closer he discovered that Aminata and three other galahs were sitting on a low tree branch, and all of the galahs were bobbing their heads.

Mamadou walked over with a handful of unshelled peanuts and gave them to Ousman saying “They like these – but just one each”

The galahs noticed the peanuts and bobbed their heads a bit faster.

Ousman reached up and gave Aminata a peanut, then cautiously handed one to each of the other galahs.

When the galahs had finished their peanuts they flew down to the shallow water in the pond beneath the water pump and had a bath.

The doorbell rang, which annoyed Festus because he’d been enjoying watching the galahs.

Aminata heard the doorbell and started imitating it, as if she was urging someone to go and answer the door.

“I’ll go” said Festus. He realised he should probably check on the beans anyway.

Festus turned the beans down low and then answered the door. He was greeted by two men in suits, one in a black suit and one in a grey suit. They both shook his hand and gave him their cards and when Festus realised that they were real estate agents he felt like slamming the door, but couldn’t because one of the men had his foot in the way.

“We have a client who is interested in buying the two vacant blocks next door because they have been rezoned to allow four storey developments. Out of courtesy he’d also like to offer to buy your property too” said the real estate agent in the grey suit.

Festus felt sick at the thought of such a large development next door but was fairly confident that Gina and Penny wouldn’t sell to anyone who wanted to ruin the street like that. Festus wasn’t so sure about Victoria and Graham though.

“Get out of here” said Festus and he shut the door so quickly that the grey-suited man had to jump out of the way. Festus watched from the window to make sure the men left, and noticed that on their way out they put a letter into the mailbox. Then they walked towards a giant white car and took out a laser measuring device and tripod and walked towards Gina and Penny’s burnt-out house.

Festus came outside to watch as the real estate agents started measuring Gina and Penny’s block. Festus checked the mailbox and saw that it had a letter with plans for a block of apartments.

Festus picked up a rock from the garden border and wondered how much trouble he’d get into if he threw if at the real estate agent’s car. Then he heard the familiar “Clink clink” sound of Aminata and saw that she and her three friends were sitting on the roof of the house and watching him. Festus wisely put down the rock and went inside to chop chillies.


The Inklings: Chapter 70

To read from the start go to https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/

On Monday it was Beth’s turn to spend the day at Ousman’s place. Her father left her at the front door on his way to work and when Beth nervously rang the doorbell Mamadou was the first to open it. Beth seemed shy. She struggled to explain to Mamadou who she was and what she was doing there. Fortunately Ousman was up and soon came to rescue Beth. He took her to the kitchen to make her a cup of peppermint tea.

Binta was sitting in the kitchen writing a list when the phone rang. Binta answered the phone and as she listened to the person on the other end Mamadou noticed that her expression become worried.

“I have to go to work afterall” announced Binta after she’d hung up the phone.

Binta had told Mamadou that she had a week of holiday and was going to be looking after Ousman while Mamadou started helping Rose and Festus with the renovations. When Mamadou was more settled into helping with the renovations Binta would go back to work and Mamadou would have to take Ousman with him for the rest of the school holidays. Binta thought this was only fair – it wasn’t as if Mamadou was being paid to help Rose and Festus. Besides, it was possible that Ousman might even be a bit helpful. But now the plan had changed and Binta couldn’t take a week off.

Mamadou was a bit annoyed but then he noticed that it looked like Binta was going to cry and realized how disappointed she was that she couldn’t have a break from work.

“No worries” said Mamadou, trying to sound like a local.

Beth looked frightened when she heard about the change of plan. She’d been imagining that she and Ousman would spend a lazy day doing puzzles and playing chess. She didn’t want to go to Rose’s place with Mamadou because she didn’t know Rose or Mamadou and had no idea what it would be like.

Beth watched as Mamadou took a handful of fruit and nut mix from a glass jar and put them into his pocket. It comforted Mamadou to take a snack with him like that because it reminded him of when he was a boy and his Mum had put peanuts into his pocket before she sent him out to go shopping. Then Mamadou filled three water bottles and put them into a bag.

“Let’s go” said Mamadou to Beth and Ousman and so Beth followed Ousman and Mamadou out the front door and up the street. The trio was about halfway to Rose’s house when a galah flew down and landed on the fence next to the footpath. Ousman stopped and looked at the galah, then smiled and said ‘hello’ to it. Beth thought this was a bit strange but the galah seemed to think it was perfectly normal and it hopped onto Ousman’s shoulder. Mamadou remembered the fruit and nuts mix in his pocket so he took out some sunflower seeds and put them in Ousman’s hand. Ousman held his hand out like a plate for the galah and the galah ate the seeds thoughfully.

While the galah was still eating, a man came out of his front gate. When he noticed the galah he walked over, told them his name was Stan, and said to the galah “Back again are you?”. Then Stan told Ousman, Beth and Mamadou how the galah had turned up in his backyard a week ago. “I thought she was a pet who’d escaped so I took her to the vet, but all the vet could tell me was that she was a female and because she has no microchip or leg-bands she could be wild. So I took her to the park and let her go.”

Mamadou looked at Ousman, who was looking lovingly at the galah as it sat on his forearm. Mamadou could tell that it was going to be hard to separate the two. Beth seemed to like the galah too, but was a bit scared. “Will it bite me if I try to pat it?” she asked Stan.

“She likes tickles on her neck better” said Stan.

The galah seemed to have understood what Stan was saying because she tilted her head to one side and fluffed up her neck feathers. Stan showed Beth how to tickle the galah and then Beth had a go.

“You should keep her” Stan said to Ousman and Beth.

Mamadou suspected that Stan just wanted someone else to take responsibility for the galah but was pleased when Ousman asked him “Can I keep her?”

“What will your Mum think about that?” Mamadou asked Ousman.

“If she won’t let Ousman keep the galah, I will take it” said Beth.

The galah looked at everyone like she found them amusing, but kept sitting on Ousman’s arm.

Stan wished them luck and they continued their journey to Rose’s place. As they walked they discussed names for the galah.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Zikpi had been at Rose’s place for half an hour. She’d been instructing Rose and Festus on how they had to try to ignore the film crew – to not look at the camera or microphone and to only acknowledge her when she had told them she was going to be in the shot. When Zikpi went out the front to help the film crew unpack the van she saw Mamadou and the kids (and the galah) approaching.

“Quick” said Zikpi “Get a shot of them arriving”

When Rose opened the door to Mamadou she was surprised to see he had an entourage with him. She assumed that the galah belonged to the shy girl and wondered who she was but thought it might be rude to ask and she could see she was being filmed so she just invited them all in.

Festus was sitting at the kitchen table with a teapot, milk jug and three cups in front of him. When everyone walked in he asked “Who have we got here?”

Mamadou explained that Beth was Ousman’s friend who was staying with them that day and that the galah had made friends with them on the way.

“I’m going to keep her and call her Aminata” said Ousman.

Rose tried to picture what Binta’s face would look like when she came home from work and saw a galah sitting on Ousman’s shoulder. “You will have to tidy up whenever Aminata makes a mess” she told Ousman.

Then Rose got two more cups out of the cupboard and Festus poured everyone a cup of tea while Rose explained the work plan for the day. They were going to start by demolishing the garage. It had corrugated iron walls and a tiled roof on a wooden frame. The iron and tiles were in pretty good condition but some of the wooden frame had started to rot. At Mamadou’s insistence they were to take care when they demolished it so as many materials as possible could be reused. By this time all the tea cups were empty so it was time to go outside and get started.

“Did you get all that?” Zikpi asked the film crew. She had started to think that this renovation would be the most interesting one she’d filmed.

“What are you two, sorry, three going to do? Do you want me to tell you how you can help or would you rather entertain yourselves?” said Rose to Ousman, Beth and Aminata.

“Help, if we can, don’t you think?” said Beth, looking at Ousman to see if he agreed.

“Yep” said Ousman.

“Ok. You kids can take these wrenches and start taking the sheets of metal off this wall – make sure you put gloves on first though” instructed Rose as she pointed to the garage wall that faced the house. Then Rose and Mamadou started moving the pieces of scaffolding that had been dropped off in the driveway by one of Festus’ friends. While this was happening Festus sat on a chair and watched. He thought it wasn’t really necessary to put up scaffolding just to remove the tiles from the garage roof, but Rose had insisted. She didn’t want any more injuries to happen during the renovation.

Ousman thought he and Beth looked funny in their giant gloves as they struggled clumsily with the wrenches. At first they didn’t even know which way to turn the screws to loosen them but Festus was able to give them instructions. Soon they were moving quite quickly and began to have races to see who could undo a row of screws the fastest. Aminata made herself useful by picking up any screws that were dropped on the ground and putting them in a pile under Festus’s chair


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