On my seventh birthday, my grandma gave me a young ‘teenage’ hen to take home and rear.
I called her Nyaseske’. She reminded me of an American singer who, by then, was very famous. The singer was a beautiful lady called Ashanti.
Nyaseske’rode in the boot of my uncle’s car, 4hrs from Kisii until Nakuru.
I feared the hen would suffocate due to the heat of the hot African sun and the overloaded sack that contained green bananas, maize and potatoes fresh from the highland soil.
Nyaseske’was a worrier. She survived.
Nyaseske’was a weird hen. She was covered in black and brown feathers. Her beak was black and her crown was more black than the normal red. Her feet were not yellow or white but were black too.
To top up her special features, she was barren. Nyaseske’ could not lay eggs.
Every chicken in the coop ‘hated’ Nyaseske’. Since she joined my brood,she became a social loner (she went hunting in the fields alone but slept together with new family at night in the barn).
She was not a noisy chicken, cackling her way to attention. Instead ,she was a silent con artist.
The leader of the brood, a cock I named after the popular WWE wrestler ,Triple H, had no problem with her. Nyaseske’followed the chicken rule, “Respect and be submissive to the alpha chicken” and this saved her from unnecessary pecking.
I used to stalk her after school, just to see if my hard work in feeding her grains and portions of my food made her fat before grandma came to inspect my chicken rearing prowess.
Nyaseske’was full of trickery. When the season of egg laying arrived, She would run to the nesting section of the barn and chose a specific target to sit next to.
When the target had been identified,she would slowly tiptoe to the nest and sit her feathery derriere besides the brooding hen.
After 10 minutes of stillness and pretence of falling asleep , Nyaseske’ would move closer until their wings touched.
With careful timing and planning, she would stretch out one leg into the base of the target hen and drag one egg at a time to herself.
One stealing session took about 5minutes, so if it were twelve eggs that was one hour of egg napping without raising any red flags.
After stealing, Nyaseske’ would strategically move three inches away from the crime scene unsuspected with her legs intact.
The victimized hen usually did not notice anything until the hatching period when she could not feel or hear her hatchlings. By that time Nyaseske’ was happily feeding the stolen chicks fat worms and juicy grasshoppers in the garden.
If plan A did not work, Nyaseske’ had a plan B that involved use of force.
This was thuggery. This plan was thug life level thievery.
After sitting next to the expectant hen, she would gently push her away from her eggs.
10min =1inch of pushing
By the end of the day, Nyaseske’ ended up brooding the stolen eggs and the true mother hen was left to warm air underneath her.
Nyaseske’ taught me the most important lesson about life. Life is meant to be taken and grabbed by force and strategic planning to get what you want .
Do not let your infirmities cripple your potential.
Nyaseske’ may not have been the best mentor but she left her story behind to be told by a human child.
I took care of her until she was ceremoniously eaten in my cousin’s university graduation party after 6 years.
In memory of Nyaseske’.