Probably my last post for the year. Merry Christmas to All – may our Lord God bless abundantly as you enter into the New Year. – Maranatha!
Christmas comes early out here. In fact, it comes at least 3 days early as people start coming in from distant “out-churches” to attend the Christmas conference on the mission station. But actually, it started several months before as the local church leadership made plans – who to invite as speaker and where housing would be provided; what local Christian’s “kiwanja” (village, or in some cases, yard) would be host to which church group; firewood gathered; and a myriad of other details such as what each church group needed to bring with them – their food, bedding, etc.
Now the “3-day early” has arrived. An early visit by the church leaders calls me out. “Bring your “bunduki” (gun). We can’t catch the cow”! The station church was providing the meat for everyone and had arranged to purchase one from another village. Only, as they had left early to get it, it had gone berserk – crazed – and no one could get near it. It had l-o-n-g sharp horns (the Africans called them “2 spears”) and it tried to gore anyone who got too close. Maybe I could help.
So out I go, my trusty 30.06 over my shoulder and a box of 180 grain cartridges in my hand. Into my Land Rover we climb and, with them directing, we bounce down the cow paths until we get to the village where “maching’wabili” (2 spears) should be. The villagers informed us that it was out in the bush – “it ran that way”. So now there is nothing to do except try and track it down.
And we did. We found it a distance away, contentedly eating grass. As soon as it saw us it turned our direction and tossed its head angrily – the “spears” intimidating some of the church leaders so much that they took off.
My rifle was loaded and locked – safety on – as the local evangelist and I contemplated our next move. Safety off as we drew closer. The cow eyed us closely but then dipped its head to munch more grass. Maybe it thought that only two people were not a threat.
BANG! One shot in the right place; down it went. Those intrepid others, who had abandoned us when the cow first looked at us, came out of the bushes. The job was done, the cow loaded into my vehicle and off to the station we went. Meat was now assured for the crowds coming in. After all, how could you eat “ugali” (African cornmeal mush) without good meat and gravy?
And my (our) portion? A good long filet, cut from along the backbone of the beast. Besides a good Christmas Conference, we were going to eat well!!