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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

An Event in Hadesh's Life | Hunting in the desert

The very first time, I went hunting, I was about 7 seven years old. My adopted parents were nomadic tuareg people. They always moved from one place to another based on the seasons because of their herds of cattle. One day, they moved to a forest where was a lake and fresh weeds grew lusciously to feed our cattle. 

It was raining season, and wild animals were having babies. To get there, the whole family and I rode on donkey's back, camel's back, and horses' back. Once we got to our new settlement, I jumped out of my donkey's back, and went for new discoveries because I was hungry and my mother wanted to give us only curdled cow milk and she really did not have time to cook since they had to unpack and settle

So I decided to take matters into my own hands so I went hunting for meat, eggs, and fruits. I saw strange birds while I was walking in the forest. Those birds were getting in and out of a big bush. So, I was curious to see them closer, but I didn't know what kind of birds they were.  However, later I learned that they were bats, and not birds.

An Event in Hadesh's Life | Hunting in the desertI was very hungry, and I wanted to eat badly those birds instead of just drinking the curdled milk we had at home. After locating these weird birds, I went back to steal a lighter from my parents so that I could go back and cook these birds.

Our lighters back then differed very much so from the modern lighters that use gas nowadays, because our lighters were made of 2 small stones and a piece of white cloth. 

On one stone, we stick an old white cloth that was soaked for a day in a liquid made back home that was always used to feed the animals. We let the cloth dry. Whenever we wanted to light a fire, we ripped some of the cloth and pegged it against one stone then used the other stone to strike against the stone with the cloth on it, the friction would cause fire to light on the cloth and I would use the lit cloth to light wood and dried leaves in order to make a bigger fire and that was exactly what I did that day to cook these bats.

The bats lived in a termite home in a hole under that bush. The bush was naturally designed to look like a small room. There was no way that someone could see me inside it. So, I gather all together some woods and dried weeds and put them right by the hole in which the bats where coming in and out of and I lit it good. So I started my barbecue and a long feasting day ensued. I was very happy that day of my exploit because it was the bats very oily and tasty and I satiated my hunger fully.  

The bats were falling one by one in the fire. When they were ready and cooked well, I picked them out the fire. I rubbed them in hand for the oil and then I tossed them straight into my mouth, with skin and everything else that came with it and ate it all. Then I used the oil on my hand to rub it all over my body as I was naked and I had heard that oil was good for beauty. I had seen my adoptive mother use oil all over her body for beauty purpose so I did the same with the oil from the bat. They were very tasty and oily.  While the mean time,  my parents were frantically looking for me in the forest, but they couldn't find me until I was full,  then on my own, I turn the fire off with dirt and I went home completely satiated and oily. I had stinking bats' black oil color all over my face and body. My stupid cousins made fun of me the entire following year. I became the talk of the tribe. They said to me that bats were not good meat to eat and their oil was not good oil. My parents laughed at the way I looked because it looked funny to them. 

It was a memorable experience and one that can only be lived in the desert and one I can never forget especially the way I ate these bats without even cleaning the skin out and the way I used their body oil for beauty purpose. 

If you enjoy this short memoir of my childhood, please consider sharing it on your social media pages with friends and family. Thank you for reading.

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