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post In My Mother’s Yard

January 17th, 2008

Filed under: Life Style — Admassu @ 10:06

I was surprised to see a dog in my mother’s yard as I visited her last time. A female dog heavy with young. First I thought that the dog must be from near by village. It is usual that dogs take rest or look for food in other villages when they get tired of roaming around going long distances from their own village. But after seeing the dog moving in the yard and in my mother’s house feeling at home I couldn’t help asking about it. My mother told me that my small nephew found the dog on the road and brought it home and that it was few days old. Amazed by the story I felt somehow sad at the same time because it reminded me that over three years have gone by since my last visit.

My mother lives around ten minutes walk away from the town Yirga Cheffe in south Ethiopia. She must be around 70 years old. She doesn’t know her genuine age. She always starts to tell a certain story that happened as she was born when ever she is asked how old she is.

yirga_cheffe.jpg
///Yirga Cheffe is known for it’s spicy organic coffee world-wide. Many coffee producing western companies boast about their development projects in this area. Looking at this poor town proves the opposite. (photo: admassu m. k.)///


Beside that dog my mother’s yard
was also filled with hens, roosters and so many fledglings. Though my mother had no prepared facility for those animals. As a result of that every body in the family and all the animals gather in her house when the night comes. Apart from my self everybody and every animal used to spend their night sound asleep. It was hard for me to get used to that crow habit of the roosters three times a night; each crow session takes 5 to ten minutes. It was such a horror experience for me and I end up cursing those feathered creatures each time they tore me away from my deep sleep.

The other reality about keeping animals in my mother’s area is the immense death rate of the fledglings. In the first days of my arrival there were around 20 fledglings in the compound following their mother hens and making those tiny sounds the whole day. After like two weeks they were all gone. You see first one of them doing a weird gasping gesture stretching its neck consistently. I asked my mother if there was anything there to help that poor thing. My mother told me that if the chicks start doing that stretching thing it is already too late. After a while almost all the chicks were doing that gasping movement. I usually went in to the coffee forest or to Yiraga Cheffe just to avoid this tragic scene.

After two weeks and after all the fledgling were dead the dog gave birth and 6 puppies were the new family members in my mother’s yard. That is when weird situation started to take place. My mother has prepared a place for the dog and it’s puppies in one corner of her kitchen out side. The first time the dog left her kids after a long and tiresome birth giving procedure those mother hens, still yearning after their dead fledglings, took over the dog’s place. As the dog came back after taking some stretching walk and after chasing some horrified hens of the neighborhood it was confronted with a strange turnout of the situation at home. The hens has adopted the puppies and they were quite aggressive and started attacking that poor dog whenever it appears to feed the puppies.

hen2.jpg
///Adopted puppies (photo: admassu m. k.)///

Our help was essential to keep those puppies from starving. Every one in the family was busy then; busy taking out those aggressive and fiercely attacking hens out of the kitchen and help the frightened-to-death dog to feed the puppies. We stood guard till we were sure that the puppies were full and we left the battlefield. After that we were too exhausted to stop the hens from chasing the dog away and took over the place again.

hen1.jpg
///Sharing the responsibility. (photo: admassu m. k.)///

I heard a woman who visited my mother saying that it is a sign for the soon arriving end of the world. She didn’t stay long as usual. She excused her self for not remaining longer and fled out of the compound murmuring some prayers and looking in to the blue sky searching for her God and his mercy.

1 Comment »

  1. Man this is a sensational story…..why haven`t you placed it on a youtube or other media sharing sites.

    Thanks anyhow

    Comment by Emans — 16. May 2008 @ 23:00

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