The next morning Mamadou got up early. He was feeling much better. There had been a big dinner the night before, thanks to Saidou, who had brought home as much cassava, okra, tomatoes and onions as he could carry.
“If only there were some tea then life would be complete” thought Mamadou.
Mamadou took his letter and went outside, hoping to find a place that was both quiet and catching the early sun so he could have a go at reading the letter. He didn’t expect that he’d be able to understand it completely, but hoped that he’d be able to work out enough to help him decide what to do next. If the letter contained something he didn’t mind sharing then he’d look for someone to help him read it properly.
The letter started in the usual way, with a greeting. Mamadou skipped to the bottom of the page to read who the letter was from, but it wasn’t anyone he knew. Then he looked at the top of the page to see their address and what he saw made his heart start racing. He furiously started trying to read the whole letter.
The first paragraph seemed to be warning him of what was to come in the rest of the letter. Mamadou successfully read the phrase “I hope this doesn’t come as too much of a shock.”
Mamadou stopped and took a few deep breaths, then read on.
When he got to the bit that said “you have a son” Mamadou was shocked. He read it again and again, to make sure he understood correctly.
From what Mamadou understood, the rest of the letter was asking him if he’d be happy for his son to contact him and that his son would like to bring Mamadou to come and live with him.
Mamadou got up and ran off to find someone who could help him write a reply.