Twenty-one

When I set my foot on the slippery trail road in our areca farm, mud smeared over, down my faded tailored skirt of jeans and at the end of an oversized T-shirt that my elder cousin brother had given to me instead of trashing it away.

‘Ouch’ I reacted.
My mother who was walking in the front, turned back in interruption, sweat dripping off her folded forehead.
‘What happened?’
‘Mud’ I scowled my face.
She simply turned back and continued walking through, across the Native Perennials, whose grown up leaves socked her legs until the area where they had been cleared off.
But my thought of walking through the grass covered path feared me of snakes; again. It reminded me of a rainy evening in the unharvested paddy fields with my brother. The clouds were pulled down to the ground, it’s shades of grey in lumps. We had about three more fields to cross and it was raining heavily on our black umbrellas. Till half of the first field we didn’t see the two meaty black snakes that were accompanying us. But when we did, we realised that we were in the very middle of the flooded land, not having finished even with the start of many more boxes of fields that sighted ahead. We scurried about to the extreme left leaving the twiny or sibling or couple snakes in the extreme right. We guessed they could be rat snakes, but then again, at the end of the day they all turned out to be wearing the similar outfits. Our legs were walking fast, but slow, like they do in dreams and the snakes surfaced to be racing us, to our side. I gasped at the thought of having to die from snake bite; bites, because this time there were two, getting wet and toppling over eachother. Surprisingly, my brother didn’t seem to have been so afraid as I was. Perhaps he was confident that they were the ones that eat only rats and eggs and never sneak close to humans. Or perhaps he didn’t care for the unfriendly ones either. He was just like our mother, she would hover them up into the air. While dad and I would have our heart in mouth just at the idea of having snakes around.
The hurdle of first box of field was finally getting over along with them duals getting stealthily into their home of holes like two rivers.
Having seen that, I sighed

Even the giraffes of pasture in the farm had been passed through. Mom had brought two straps of areca leaves to wrap up the fair sized balls of grasses from two opposite sides, which she had clipped off to feed for the cows. It was one of the daily chores. I helped her in lifting one of the gass packed balls over her head and watched the blades of it overflowing as she walked ahead. And then I bent down to lift one for myself, which was relatively smaller and lightweight. Leaving the remaining bunches behind for the following days, we strolled off.

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