A QUEST FOR WATER: (Based on actual events in the southern Sahara), Chapter 4: A CLOSE CALL (6)
“What are you doing here?” Mouheini asked.
“I had just filled my gourd at the well,” Fada replied, “when I heard the pickups arrive, with the crazy men shooting in the air and yelling at everyone, demanding to have water and food. I didn’t wait to see what happened next; I simply ran away as fast as I could.”
The boy took deep breaths, clearly traumatized by what he had undergone. “Anyway, I’ve been hiding here for a while, and then I heard all of you crying.”
He paused, “I think it’s safe now. If you want, you can come with me to my village. There you can get water and sleep tonight.”
Mouheini looked at him dubiously. Yet despite her suspicion, she wanted to believe in something. She was too tired to think of questions to ask. All she wanted was to drink some water and sleep. She looked over at Takat and Raichatou, and called them over.
“This boy… Fada… says he can help us.”
Fada stepped up to them with a smile: “I live beyond those hills, not too far away. There is a well in my village. You could get water and spend the night there.”
photo: Fulani boy, to represent Fada.