by Dumisani Kufaruwenga

This is the story.

The Lawyer runs. The dog barks. The maid swings her hips.

But not anymore

All three share the same fate, under the reign of a ruler who rules with inexorable but invisible force.

The story starts with the following daily ritual.

The lawyer wakes up promptly, defying the chill of the early morning dawn and adorns his rugged grey sweater and matching pants, he slips his flat foot into well worn sneakers, and slips out of the house, careful not to rouse his sleeping family.

But his alert loyal dog hears him and meets him outside and wags its jovial tail and leaps at him and hugs his shoulders with undisguised joy.

To show that it is vigilant and faithful, the lawyer’s dog races around the yard, barking viciously at no-one, it scales the durawall and hangs thereon precariously on its front feet, and barks at the empty street in a naked display of limitless force.

The lawyer smiles in gratification, a king content in his kingdom.

He opens the gate and begins to run. And down Masocha Ndhlovu Drive he goes, he turns left at Parktown Shopping Centre, up again he goes into Montgomery Drive, propelling himself forward with practiced vigour.

At or near Prospect Primary School, he meets the maid. She walks in the opposite direction.

Always punctual, the lawyer presumes she is enroute to work.

She has firm breasts and wide hips and smooth shiny legs, and walks with a vigorous sensuous gait. She smiles politely at the lawyer and greets him with gentle demeanour

“A very good morning
to you Sir “

The lawyer smiles back at her and races past, obviously stimulated and flattered by feline attention.

And back into Masocha Ndhlovu Drive the lawyer comes, and he runs the the last lap home with renewed zest.

The diligent dog is even happier to see him. It jumps and fuses around him with sycophantic zeal.

The lawyer is jubilant.

The story ends with the following erratic occurance;

The lawyer lumbers laboriously out of the house for the morning run. The now frail and flea-ridden dog ignores him, and the lawyer trudges down Masocha Ndhlovu Drive in a belligerent mood.

When the lawyer approaches Prospect Primary School, the maid wears a blanket around her waist, and a woollen hat on her head, like a rural woman enroute to a funeral. She greets the lawyer with a defeated smile, and the lawyer returns the greeting with a sad wave.

For the lawyer, the dog and the maid, a heavy day lies ahead, for a cruel ruler now rules their lives.

Is it just age?

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