I was six years old; It was a hot day; I was swimming in the river; then I felt a pain in my leg; It was a sting like that of a bee; and then another one; I was scared; I rushed outside of the water. I was able to see it before I step outside of the river; it was a snake. My leg was bleeding and I was so scared.
My sister was washing her clothes nearby, when she heard me crying she came to me to ask what had happened. When I told her that I hlave been bitten twice by a snake she was scared too.
My sister was young, she was only 11 years old. She took a rag and bandaged the place that was bleeding; She finished washing her clothes before putting me on the back of a donkey so as to go home.
My leg started to bulge until it became like a balloon, It was numb so I couldn’t feel it anymore. I was so young and I started thinking of death. I was looking at the cemetery and thinking of people carrying me there to bury me there. I imagined my mother crying and I couldn’t stand it.
There was no hospital in the country; the nearest hospital was more than two hours away; there were no cars either; mules and donkeys were our the only means of transportation we had. And even if I reach that small hospital in the village they couldn’t do anything for me; they would send me to the city hospital to get the antidote. Which means that I have to go another hour by car to reach the city.
I wasn’t going to make it; I was dying no doubt.
My sister put me on the back of our donkey and carries me home. My mum got scared; I still remember her crying and shouting for help. Finally help arrived. A relative came to tell my mum that he knows a sage who can help me.
The sage lives in another country; it will take us three hours to reach his house.
It was a bet; If we find the sage home I might survive; otherwise I am doomed for sure.
It was summer, the sun was scorchingly hot; the mule was moving fast with the two of us on its back. My leg became so heavy; I felt thirsty; there was no water; I resisted and then I fainted; I thought it’s the end; I was dead.
When I waked up I found myself shading under a tree; my relative brought me some water from the well. Two passers by came close to us to ask what was the matter. My relative asked them about the sage’s house. They showed him the house; it was near; but they told him that the sage was planning to visit the city that day so we might not find him home. When we reached his home we found him there; he asked us to come in; my relative carried me inside because I couldn’t walk. The sage was an old man with a long white beard; he brought a bucket of warm water, a towel and a razor.
He started cutting and squeezing my leg so as the venom can come out;then he wiped it with the towel. The blood was black.
He continued doing so until there was no venom left. He asked me to stand up, I said I can’t but he just helped me. I stood up and started walking with no pain at all.
The sage offered us some food and drink; we thanked him and went back home.
When I came back home; I found my mum still crying; I threw myself in her lap and we cried together.