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Jeremeeh Kousse collections: Tales from the Savannah 14

By Jeremeeh Kousse.
Jeremeeh Kousse is a playwright. A griot and a comedian.
He is also a crypto researcher.

From his collections: Tales from the Savannah 14

In a small coastal village, there lived a fisherman named Arjun. He was a humble man, blessed with a large family of thirteen children. Despite their poverty, Arjun and his wife, Meera, found joy in their simple life. Meera tended a small garden behind their modest home, where she grew vegetables to feed the family. She also spent her days spinning wool, mending old fishing nets, and preparing meals.

Arjun’s livelihood depended on his small canoe, nets, baskets, and fishing hooks. For many years, he earned just enough to sustain his family, pulling in modest catches from the sea. However, times changed when the government allowed foreign multinational companies to fish in the waters with their advanced steamers and enormous nets. These new competitors quickly depleted the fish stocks near the shore, forcing Arjun to venture farther out to sea in search of a catch.

The long trips were often fruitless, and Arjun would return home empty-handed, unable to provide enough for his family. Their situation grew dire, with less food on the table and growing worries about their future. Despite this, Meera kept the household running with her small garden and resourcefulness.

One fateful day, after many days of fruitless fishing, Arjun ventured far into the open sea. He cast his nets, praying for a miracle. Hours passed, and just as he was about to give up, he felt a tremendous pull on his net. It was a catch larger than he had ever experienced. The weight of the fish was so immense that his old, worn-out nets began to tear apart. Desperate and overwhelmed, Arjun cried out in despair, “What is this? I am tired of life! I want to die! Death, come and take me away!”

To his astonishment, Death appeared before him, a dark figure against the bright sea. “Sir, you called me. Here I am,” Death said.

Terrified and regretful, Arjun’s voice trembled as he quickly stammered, “I…I only called you to come and help me pull my fishing nets.”

Death looked at him with a knowing smile and replied, “Humans prefer to suffer than to die. I will come another time.”

With that, Death vanished, leaving Arjun alone but now with a renewed sense of determination. He summoned all his strength and managed to haul the torn nets and their precious catch into his canoe. Exhausted but grateful, he rowed back to the village.

The catch was bountiful, more than enough to feed his family and sell at the market. It provided them with much-needed relief and hope. The villagers, hearing of Arjun’s encounter with Death, marveled at his bravery and resilience.

From that day forward, Arjun continued to fish, but with a new perspective on life. He realized that even in the darkest moments, there was always a glimmer of hope. And so, with his loving wife Meera by his side and the laughter of his thirteen children filling their humble home, Arjun found contentment in the simple joys and the strength to face whatever challenges came their way.

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