By JP BROWN
Mabalel; the little African girl of spirit and of flesh all alone in the mighty wilderness. She is singing a happy tune of her home and her people softly to herself as she triples down the path to the banks of the mighty Limpopo River. The sun is setting - a brilliant hue of purple and yellow and gold, and the wind is soft and warm on her face. On her head is an earthenware jug made for filling with water. She goes down gently to the bank of the mighty river, but unknown to her fate is circling deep in those dark and turbulent waters. It has been lurking beneath the surface for some time, brooding in the deepest and darkest of primeval waters just waiting for the perfect kill, and this monsters name was; Lalele! It circled deep and dark underneath the surface and then it started to rise slowly but surely from the depths of darkness where it lay so long unsuspecting; just waiting, just anticipating. Then rising swiftly to the reeds and surface above, where awaited his tiny victim. A little girl scooping water, innocent and blissful, unaware of any imminent danger, singing a soft tune to herself as she worked. Then suddenly the monster struck from the very deep of the mighty river, and dragged the child away unto its bosom. Soon, as darkness started to fall, cries went up from the nearby village, they were searching for their missing daughter. But the darkness and the night and the river gave no answer, as night fell over Africa and the brilliant diamond night sky high above ever kept its vigil.
(From A Poem And Traditional Tale – By ‘Eugene Marais’. South African Author And Poet.)