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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: When Sam Had a Wasp for a Teacher
By Daniel Owino Ogweno


It was a warm evening. The windows were open, allowing air circulation to help cool the house. The lights attracted a wasp. It flew into the sitting room.

Sam, a 3-year-old boy, was playing in the sitting room when he noticed the wasp flying round the light. The wasp’s multi-coloured wings attracted the little boy.

Sam’s mother was in the kitchen baking some bread. A maid was watching over Sam as he played.

“I want that!” Sam demanded, pointing at the wasp. The maid told him that the flying thing wasn't a good neighbour; it wasn’t meant to be taken but only to be seen. That didn’t make any sense to Sam. He wanted what he was seeing—and he wanted it badly.

Realising that the maid was not about to yield to his demands, Sam started screaming and shouting, saying repeatedly, “I want it!” He started crying.

The mother shouted from the kitchen, “Give him what he wants!” The maid was at the verge of answering back to explain what Sam wanted but the mother shouted her down in an urgent command, “I said, give him what he wants! Is that too difficult for you to understand?”

Sam's mother didn’t even make the slightest attempt to find out what it was the boy wanted.

The maid had no choice but to let Sam have it. She rolled a newspaper in her hand and tipped the insect. She was careful not to hit it hard in a manner that would kill it. The little boy and his mother were about to learn a hard but important lesson in life taught by the maid and the wasp. This lesson could only be taught and learnt if the maid was careful enough not to kill the wasp.

When it fell on the floor, she urged Sam, “Quick, quick, arise and grab!”

Sam ran excitedly toward the insect and managed to reach it before it gained its balance to fly again. He pounced on the insect.

What followed was a distressed scream of untold anguish. Wasps sting so painfully and that is exactly what the little boy got. The mother abandoned her baking, hustled into the living room shouting and fuming in rage, “What have you done to my child?” She was going to hit the maid but she ducked, shouting at the top of her voice, “He has gotten what he wanted!”

By the time, the little boy let go the wasp, he couldn’t even see the beauty that had attracted him. The multi-coloured wings are only visible when the insect spreads them as it flies.

Talk of experience being a bad teacher, there it was! It gives people a pain for a lesson. For people who consider the result and not the pain involved in the process, what a good teacher experience is!

The Bible tells us to persist but I wonder how many times I have mistaken insisting for persisting; I wonder how many things I have chased, being deceived by beauties that are only visible from a distance but disappear immediately I get into contact with them.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 01/11/07
Cooking was a sidedish here, with a rather unique story. However, with another topic and editing of grammar and spelling - this would be a great "moral of the story" type entry.
Jan Ackerson 01/11/07
Great title and worthwhile lesson.

The maid's line "Quick, quick, arise and grab!" seems to place this story in a distant era--but there aren't a lot of details to give your reader an accurate setting.

I hope Sam's mother heeds the lesson!
Catrina Bradley 01/11/07
A very nice lesson here. It's weak on the topic, and a little choppy. Maybe more "show don't tell" would help some. Some great lines, though- I especially like: For people who consider the result and not the pain involved in the process, what a good teacher experience is! and the last paragraph really spoke to me. So many times I've mistaken insistance for persistanc myself! Thanks for writing this!
Leigh MacKelvey01/16/07
I liked the voice telling the story. it was different and like Jan commented, from another era or perhaps another culture. It was odd to read about a "maid" in this day and time, unless the mother was wealthy. Maybe the cukture or the time the story takes place could be added in somewhere or expanded on to help the reader. I do love the voice though!