In Budalang'i, telling the weather isn't Binomial expansion or Logarithms or some equally complicated exercise. All you have to do is listen to the weather forecast on the radio and then stay put for the exact opposite.
So when the weatherman, courtesy of my grandfather's SQNY[It's a world receiver!] promised intermittent showers throughout the day with the possibility of a heavy downpour in the afternoon, I immediately dispatched onr of my nieces to the lake with my dirty laundry since I fully expected them to be dry by evening.
With the rest of the morning to kill, I thought about going to the lake myself for a dip and breakfast at one of the many kiosks that dot the fish-landing site where a jugful of sweet, fermented porridge goes for only ten bob, but looking around the compound, I had an idea.
Of course like virtually all stupid ideas, this one struck me like one straight from the brains of Solomon.
My grandfather keeps a bunch of huge, ungainly creatures in the homestead he insists belong to the cow species, although I doubt they are even herbivores, given their ugliness even by cow standards and the relish with which they went through the packet of Dettol I came with from Kampala. But my skeptisism about their dietary inclination notwithstanding, I nevertheless could tell they were mammals capable of giving milk fit for human consumption, and by looking at their undersides, I could even tell which was a bull and which could fit the purpose of my great idea.
The gist of my idea? Operation No More Strungi.
However, the only person I knew there with anything approaching competence in milk extraction procedures was my grandfather, and quite unfortunately, he had joined his friend John Osodo at Taddei's, joint for a 'Power Breakfast' and discussions on a wide range of sensitive topics, mostly about PNU and ODM and other equally political abbreviations.
But not to worry. After all, milking wasn't exactly Algebra now, was it? I reasoned. All I had to do was remove that silly calf that was milking its mother dry, then get down to milking its mother dry. Simple as ABC without mathematical signs.
So with that, I approached the lactating calf and after a brief struggle, managed to secure it to a nearby tree stump. Then jug in hand, I positioned myself beside the mother's left rump and bent down to do my thing.
I was about to learn that cows too are capable of cold calculation.
Upto that point, the silly animal had shown absolutely no indication it dissapproved of what I was doing. It had looked lazily at me as I dragged its calf off, it had accepted the few tufts of grass I had offered it as incentive to shower my jug with milk. For God's sake, it had even swished its tail in apparent pleasure as I approached its hindquarters and started to bend! Upto that point, no dissent. upto that point...when my crotch was in direct line with it's left hoof.
I have been hurt before. But even on the day I got caught up in a UoN riot in Town and got struck on the head by a GSU man's baton, the pain wasn't nearly as bad as the terrific surge of searing hot sensation that exploded on my balls when the hoof connected hard and squarely with my crotch and burnt through to the pit of my belly. It was so painful, I actually screamed out for my mother.
It's embarrassing enough telling you this, so I won't tell you how the children around howled like hyenas with derision at my plight, or repeat ad verbatim how my grandfather, when he came back, loudly wondered what idiocy could make a full gown man milk a cow without tying up its hind legs first.