I confess: I was party to a homicide. And it was actually funny.
“Aay, aay…” muttered Abduwahid as he stepped on the break. Two brown chicken-like birds decided to cross the road as we were cruising the highway. One managed to escape unscathed and gave one last forlorn look at its companion.
“Did we hit it?” The thought that we killed something mortified me. Without any response, Abduwahid went back. “That’s so nice of him to not just drive away,” I thought.
The driver got off the vehicle, walked around the back to check on the crime scene. The kok was lying on the ground with its eyes closed and barely breathing.
The driver left and went to the bushes on the other side of the road and, after a couple of minutes, came back with dried twig that he fashioned into a sharp object. He took out from his shirt pocket a palm-sized prayer book, opened it and said a short prayer in Arabic.
After the prayer, he lifted the bird’s head, took the twig and slit the throat of the animal.
“Impressive. He prayed over and ended the suffering of the bird. Now he is going to bury it,” I thought, as he carried the lifeless kok.
Abduwahid went to the vehicle, opened the door and took a plastic bag. As he placed the bird inside the plastic bag, he turned to me, smiled and said “Lunch”.
And once more, I found myself asking: “So why did the chicken (technically it is one, Abduwahid said) cross the road?”
(Photo: Lorie and her friend taking a cool dip in a lake in Arba Minch, Ethiopia.)