A Quest for Water, Chapter 4: A Close Call (3)

Raichatou on her donkeyA QUEST FOR WATER: (Based on actual events in the southern Sahara)

Both Takat and Mouheini rushed to the injured girl’s side. Raichatou had been punctured by a particularly long thorn that had “nailed” her shoe to her foot. Mouheini, using all her strength, helped pull out the thorn while Takat held Raichatou’s hand. The girl’s whimpering brought everyone to a standstill. They looked at one another and began crying. “I cannot get that boy’s face out of my head,” Takat admitted, sobbing. “I know,” Mouheini answered. “What a terrible way to die. He went in there to help us have water. And he died for it. Dear Allah, why oh why?” She quickly pulled her spirits together, “I know that this is difficult, as it always is getting water. But we’ve got to think ahead. Tahir is sick at home, and mom is waiting for us. I know aunties are waiting for you. We will find water, I promise you.” Looking at Raichatou, Mouheini asked, “Will you be able to walk?” Then, glancing at Takat, realizing only now that her cousin was walking with only one shoe: “What happened?” Takat reassured everyone with a grim smile: “It’s not so hot anymore, and I’ve gotten good at avoiding the thorns.” The girls walked on.

photo: Raichatou traveling on her donkey to fetch water.