The mother in Torit, Sudan has no food left for her children. The pots in her
hut are empty, but only she knows it. The children just trust Mama. They are
poor but don’t know it. She tells the children she has to cook, but that it
will be troublesome if they are around when she unpacks the dried meat from the
pot at the back, so the kids are sent outside. The meat pot is empty. She
fills the cooking pot with stones and water and puts it on the fire. Then she
calls the children back in and asks them to keep the fire going. Dried meat
takes a long time to cook, and the children, thinking they are cooking meat,
forget all about being hungry. The mother goes into the woods to find food,
but, as many others have discovered, there is little remaining there. The basket
on her head remains empty, and she is desperate.
from nearby she hears a lion roar. She is scared to death of lions, yet she
draws closer to the sound and from behind a tree she watches a lion devouring a
buffalo. Oh, she is afraid, but she also knows that the meat will keep her
children alive. She takes the circlet of grass, with which she balances her
basket, from her head and flings it at the lion to divert its attention. It
works. When the lion pounces on the grass ring, the mother throws sand on the
buffalo meat, knowing that lions do not eat soiled flesh. When the lion
returns, it recoils from its meal. The mother fills her basket with the soiled
flesh, goes to wash it in the river and runs home.
children are still minding the fire. She sends them out again and quickly cooks
the fresh meat which does not take long. Her children and those of the neighbours have something to eat that day. Only the mother knows how close they
had been to starvation.