“The Little Water Boy”
It was a terribly hot, humid day In the backstreets of Ethiopia. Round here the Children don’t play. No echo’s of bouncing balls, No sight of skipping roaps, No general play Nothing!.
A poor little boy dressed in nothing but a piece of cloth tied securely around his waist, roamed the backstreets looking for food, to help him on his way. His name was “Demeke”, and he was Five years old.
Nothing on his feet he started his daily 12 mile walk to collect water for him and his sick Mother. This would take Demeke 6 hours to get there and 6 hours back.
You see Little Demeke isn’t a normal ordinary boy, he doesn’t know what it feels like to be carefree. To ask of his parents for a new toy he would like to play with, to come home beaming about all the exciting things he’d learnt at school that day. To hold up a pretty colorful picture he had just painted, to ask to go round to a friend’s house to play.
Living in a house in a rural area made of mud and stick with only one room consisting of a dirt floor corrugated sheets for walls, no electric, no running water, no toilet or washing facilities, one wooden bench and a single bed which Demeke shared with his mother. Outside Demeke’s house wasn’t much better the roads were unpaved and in bad condition, Dead Animal carcasses lay in the middle of the roads rotting and smelling.
Being an only child, little Demeke sadly never had the chance of meeting his Father whom passed away before his birth. His Father was a farmer working 12hours a day 7days a week which earned him 2 Ethiopian Birr which is equivalent to £1.26p. Demeke’s Mother had her own job, walking heavily pregnant to collect water.
After his Father’s death Demeke’s Mother sat outside her house selling bread while still taking her daily 6 hour walk for water. This Carried on when Demeke was born carrying him on her back everyday too and forth , Until she was too weak. Demeke’s Mother loved him very much but could no longer care for him. She didn’t have the option of asking for help from family or friends. (out here everyone has to think of themselves) The believing of survival, No health care poor poverty. Just constant groundhog day.
This is what little Demeke was for.
His Little hands were almost blistering with the heat. The bottom of his feet burning as he walked barefooted on the pebbly mud road. The sun shining in his big brown eyes, If only he knew of a hat.
Carrying a clay pot known as “jerikina’s” to collect water half his body weight passing lots of children and not been able to stop and play, he crept along wafting his hand on his face to try and cool himself down from the blazing sun, his tummy rumbling with hunger.
Passing a little mud and stick house he see’s 2 children outside eating bread and drinking water whilst their grandma tells them a story, He stands for a moment to listen to the soft voice of the grandma but couldn’t help but look at the children eat their food, this made Demeke’s tummy rumble even louder that it disturbed the children and their grandma. Frightened he scurried off, He wishes he could have a story read to him he vaguely remembers hearing his mother sing soothing hymens to him as he fell asleep in her arms. This was some comfort to Demeke.
Little Demeke had now been walking 3 hours his mouth was so dry his tounge was like sandpaper, he knew he should keep going to collect the water, but he was becoming very weak yet his blistering feet carried him ½ a mile more until he reached a stream. The stream was polluted, dirty and brown across the stream a man was bathing himself, around the stream it consisted from dogs to livestock drinking from it, some of these even urinating.
Little Demeke knew he should carry on his walk to the other stream which he has always collected water from but the 45degree heat made Demeke very very thirsty, and surely one drink would help him on his way. He popped down his clay pot and knelt down, he scooped up the water in his little hands and began to drink, Feeling very tired and dizzy, his feet painfully burning from the blisters, Demeke thought it’d be a good idea to lay down with his feet in the stream and rest for a few minutes before carrying along with his journey.
He lowered his little body down placed his little feet in the stream, and closed his big brown eyes.
Little Demeke must have dozed off instantly and was taken into a wonderful dream, where he saw a beautiful big white light which he floated through he then saw beautiful wild flowers every color of the rainbow and more, beautiful clear blue skies lots of puffy clouds in shapes of animals and as many clean streams you could ever ever imagine. The voices of children laughing contently, the smell of fresh cooked bread, this is the best dream he had ever had.
Just in front he saw a tall figure slowly walking his way, little demeke didn’t feel scared it was just a dream after all. As the figure drew closer the sense of familiarity came over him. It was his father, although Demeke never met his father he instantly felt love and knew who this man was. Holding his arms out in an embrace way his little legs ran until he reached him. Scooping up his son Demeke’s father kissed him gently on the cheek, and told Demeke he had a beautiful story he would like to tell him. Demeke remembered of seeing the grandma telling her grandchildren the story, he became overwhelmed with excitement he slumped in his father’s arms contently and waiting for his story to start.
“ This story is about my dear son Demeke, Demeke look around you can you see all the beautiful flowers, beautiful streams and if you look above can you see the cloud which resembles a hare running freely though the field, can you smell the warm freshly cooked bread the taste of cold fresh water in your mouth. You will never go thirsty again my son, your tummy will never rumble and roar with hunger, you can play with all the children you can have as many stories read to your heart’s content. You can paint as many pictures as you like. You will always be protected by the angels. – Demeke looks at his father confused., You see my son this is now your new home and your new home is called Heaven you will suffer no more pain”
Little Demeke felt love and happiness that his wildest dreams could not have dreamt. But just one thing that worried Demeke, was that his Mother was left all alone. Then suddenly a figure appeared, coming closely he saw his Mother, she too had come to join the two Little Demeke hugged both his parents so tightly with a smile from ear to ear, they are now in peace.
Little Demeke died at 5 years old from drinking contaminated water
His Mother then followed him.
THEY ARE NOW A FAMILY AT LAST.