When my uncle invited me to visit his family during the August school holidays, I did not imagine it would be so enjoyable. In our family, uncle Tricky was known to be the most boring. How I wish I never said so in the first place.

          The long awaited ceremony had finally come. Biding my parent’s goodbye I left with uncle Tricky. I had already packed all that I needed in my bag. I smiled forcefully so as to show my parents that it was a good idea. As we travelled, uncle Tricky kept reminding me of my duties after that important rite of passage. However, I did not pay attention to what he was saying. I was only waiting to see my mischievous cousins. Only they could get me out of my boredom.

          It seemed like almost forever before arriving at uncle Trickys home. It was already dusk. People were rushing to their houses to seek comfort. The dogs were barking loudly as though in a contest for the loudest. This was a sign to show the start of their watch.

          “Are you afraid as I am?” Joseph, my favorite cousin asked almost in a whisper. The time had come for us to face the greatest challenge. It was the thin line that separated the boys from men. Even Kamau, the eldest was afraid of the process. If only someone had volunteered and tell us what it was all about. We only had one week to prepare, days were moving really fast. I could not believe it when a day was remaining.

          The eve of the D-day was when we would be picked. I had already taken a bath yet my body was almost soaking with sweat. Fear had gripped my heart like an icy hand. Frigid sweat trickled from my forehead. My heart was tense with fear. From far I could hear the sound of drumbeats accompanied by songs sang by women. They stopped at each homestead picking at least somebody.

          Joseph, Kamau and I were to be among the boys. Earnestly, I prayed to the high deity and asked Him to help me withstand any pain that might occur. I hoped for the best and feared for the worst. Our time had come to meet with Jimmy. Nobody among us had ever met him. Some said that he ate people, others said that he was an animal and so on.

          Beating our drums, we knelt so as to show respect. The young men ordered us to stop and bow our heads low. Suddenly, a loud roar was heard followed by several others. I swore t myself that no matter what happened, I would not raise my head. At last I made it. I was now a true warrior.

          After the event, we happily went home. So far, that was the most exciting part of my stay at uncle Tricky. We all laughed at each other and were embarrassed of how coward we were.



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