60 years ago, I was a young boy and a constant nuisance to my parents. I was living in Nebali in the country of Essawon back then which is located in the middle of a desert. Imagine a town such as ours but instead of green, everything yellow. And instead of chilly evenings around the hearth, imagine days and nights so warm you never knew the feeling of cold. The city was surrounded by sand. As far as you could see, everywhere was the endless expanse of the desert.
Probably all began at that day…
I was playing with my best friend Taz. We were huge animal lovers and we had not been happy with the how the old farmer William treated his chickens. That is why Taz and I came up with a plan how to free the chicken from their inhumane, or well in-animal treatment. But maybe it was not so much about the animals as trying to annoy the crap out of old William. But in a town in the middle of a desert, there are only so many things you can do.
“Psst. Hey Taz.” “What is it Aaron?” “You still know your text, right?” Taz looked at Aaron grimly. “I thought your plan was to annoy old Willy and not me.” “Well, I’ll always go for the maximum and… Ouch!” “Better make sure that he doesn’t see you.”
The chicken cage was attached to the farmer’s house and could easily be accessed, if not for the watchful eyes of old William. Old William sat in front of his house as he used to do when he saw a boy approaching. “Hey you no-good. How often did I tell you not to bother me again? And where is the other no-good? I know you always come in pairs.” Old William looked behind Taz to make out the other kid who made his life a living hell but couldn’t see one.
“Hello Mr. William. I just came to apologize.” Taz looked to the ground. “You can put your apology where the lord split ya! I will have none of that! Leave me alone.” Taz looked as if he would go but turned around once again. “I also wanted to warn you.” “Warn me? What have you two concocted again?”. “Nothing, sir. At least not me. But I know what Aaron tries to do.”
“That little bastard.” Aaron waited in the shadows of a nearby tree where he could hear the conversation. This was not how it was supposed to be. Taz was supposed to lure old Willy away so that Aaron could have enough time to free all the chickens.
Taz was looking in Aaron’s direction. “I know where he is hiding sir. I can show you.” Old William took a long wooden stick. “Great. This time I will give him a beating he’ll never forget. Show me!” Taz led old William to a group of trees not far from the house. When they arrived, he tightened the grip around the stick. “Now look who we have here!” However, he didn’t find the boy there. In the background he heard the excited screams of chicken.
“I will beat you senseless boy!” But Taz was already up and running.
Taz and Aaron met in their hideout. “Dafuq Taz… I thought we had a plan?” Taz only smirked back. “Yeah but it was a stupid plan. Old Willy would have never believed me if I’d told you I want to show him an abandoned calf which he could add to his livestock. He is not that stupid. But I know he will never say no to handing out a good beating, especially when it comes to beating you. I mean I can understand that.”
They laughed a lot about the chicken and old Willy’s face and planned some other things until it got dark and both headed home. When they left their hideout, they saw a man in a hood, looking in their direction. They walked by him with a fast pace, not trusting this dark figure. “That was a lovely trick you played on the old farmer.” Aaron and Taz hesitated. Aaron turned around. “How do you know?” The hooded figure moved towards the boys. Only a smile was visible. “What would you say to two silver marks?” “For doing what?” “Well, I have a small job for someone with your skill sets. Are you interested?”
“Two silver marks each.” Taz looked at him challenging. The smile under the hood grew wide. “Deal!”
To be continued…
Take care, Stephan