The Plea

Posted: December 29, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , ,

Today Pegman took us to Harare, Zimbabwe. Another fascinating place. Thanks, Karen and Josh, for providing prompts to stimulate our minds.

Sitting as silent as Praying Mantis, Oupa waits for me to speak.
At first, I can’t find words.
Then think, Go slowly, be steady, like Snail. No losing your temper.
“Oupa, I do not want to marry.”
“Ah, you wish to be like Anteater.”
My heart soars. “Yes! That is right. Like you, who digs deep for truth . . .”
“And prefers to be alone. Anodiwa, you have no choice. You must marry.”
“Oupa, please …” He shows me his palm. I swallow the rest of my sentence.
“Anodiwa, you do have another choice. Be Lizard who is weak or become Crocodile who has great strength.”
My copper and brass Idzila rings jangle like discordant music when I thrust my arms toward Oupa. I need say nothing,  he can read the pleading in my eyes.
Slowly I back out the door, feeling like Turtle, carrying her own coffin.

(Idzila are copper and brass rings worn by the bride around her arms, legs, and neck. These rings were believed to have strong powers and the wife would wear them to symbolize her bond and faithfulness to her husband once her home was built. The husband will provide this rings to the wife to show a sign of wealth. I took the liberty of placing them on Anodiwa’s arms the day of her wedding.)


  1. I love the texture in this piece. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. k rawson says:

    Why can’t she be a crocodile? Love the animal lore in this. The voice is great. How sad it is to think of a turtle with a coffin on his back…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. James Pyles says:

    Great metaphorical language.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear :Lish,

    You do have a way with voices in building your characters. Love the imagery and folklorish feeling in your story. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn Love says:

    Whatever way she chooses, someone is going to be unhappy. I too love the symbolism here, the sadness and yearning come through very strongly. Well done Lish

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the gentle dialogue, and the brilliant way you weave in the folk story animals. I found the girl’s anguish about her decision poignant, and so believable. Good writing. Happy new Year to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a gentle yet compelling yet heartfelt story, Lish. The turtle with a coffin on his back is so sad yet also strangely free – the way turtles fly through the water is amazing… as is this prose.

    Liked by 1 person

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