Friday, December 08, 2006

Thandi sets her hair on fire

Thandi is a beautiful girl with long and hair full of curl.
She likes to play house with her friends.
She likes to make things with her hands.

“We can’t play house without cooking,’ Morongwa says.
Bongani agrees.
Pap and meat are easy to cook,” he says. I’ve watched my Mama cook a gazillion times.
“Where can we cook?” Thandi asks. Mama won’t let us use her stove.”

The gang make a list of things they need:
Matches, wood and paper.
Salt, maize meal and water.
“Psssssst! Don’t tell Mama I stole some meat!” Thandi says.

Bongani puts two large bricks side by side, to make a stand for the pot.
He puts newspaper and wood between the bricks.
He puts wire mesh across the bricks to make a seat for the pots.
He sets the paper on fire.
“Did you put enough water in the pot for the pap?” he asks the girls.

The fire is not catching properly
There is too much smoke
“”I know what to do,” Thandi says.
She kneels on the ground, takes a deep breath:
Phooooooooh! Phoooooooh!

“Get up!” they scream
“Thandi get up! Geeet uuuup!”
“What is it?” she asks. The she sees the smoke passing over her face.
”No! Oh no! Mama! Mama!
Maaaamaaaa! “she screams.

Her Mama comes running out
Öh my! What have you been doing?
She grabs Thandi, throws her on the ground,
Pours sand all over the smoking hair.

The smoke stops.
Burnt hair is shrunken and hard.
Thandi’s Mama presses on the head
‘Is it sore?’ she asks

“You are lucky your scalp did not burn,” Mama says.
“I’m sorry Mama. We wanted to cook for our house.”

Snip, snip, snip
Thandi’s Mama cuts her hair.
The long, beautiful curls are gone.
Thandi has chiskop!
‘I look like a boy,’ Thandi cries.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, which hat is the fairest of them all?” Thandi says

Fresh salads and sarmies are best
As we don’t need to cook them.
Just wash, cut and mix
Add a bit of salt
And lots of mayo
“Use plastic knives, or you will cut yourself by accident,” Thandi’s Mama says.