We have castles in Kenya. Not to say Kenyans built them….I don’t think our ancestors would go to all that trouble to build a dwelling place, a mud hut was sufficient. We lived at one with nature and the community and didn’t need large turrets and thick walls to feel safe. Not the Europeans who came here though. And they had every right to be afraid – the natives were vicious. How could they possibly imagine fighting off attacks by strong men who walked with lions?! They needed those thick walls and large turrets to spot ’em from a mile off.
I’ve always wanted to enter a castle… It’s just that they are located in some hidden parts of the country. There is one in Malindi a bunch of friends are planning on going to over Christmas, Mohammed to the Mountain, but this weekend the mountain came to Mohammed.
One thing I know for sure, castles are majestic. I looked at the one leased for my nephew and niece’s birthday party and knew I had to pass through its gates and reside within its walls ‘only if for awhile’. It’s interior was finished in smooth marble (read tent canvas) with drapes the color of rust brown and gold hanging on the wall (read orangish-brown walls). It’s rooms were all occupied as there was a massive feast. The king was turning 9 and all were called in to celebrate this good fortune. As I gazed in from the gates I saw his guests milling back and forth conversing and laughing at the court jesters. This was a lovely party. I had to go in…it looked too good to just stay outside. You see, the old folk of the village were not allowed into the castle as the king had had this particular castle prepared just for him and for his peers. The doors were so high, the windows so small and the fittings for such and such. Watching them have fun inside I had to get in, there was a point where the guard on duty left his post at the gate. And that was my cue.
“What sort of sorcery is this?!” I exclaimed!! The moment I stepped foot on its floors I couldn’t stop bouncing. Up and down I went. How could they be enjoying this…this…act with such joy?! Then it started. I felt myself become all carefree and weightless. Darn, this was a magical castle! I lost sense of where I was, taken over by the enchantment of the castle, a castle made of air. If all castles were this enchanting well I couldn’t wait to go to Malindi now could I?!
Then they realized I was not one of their peers…who had put them on to me??! Ok, it must have been my height, darn. I was made! As I tried to manoeuvre through the maze of corridors to the exit I came head on with a party of revelers. The king had apparently set them on me for entertainment. “Capture the adult, ” he had said, “and get a double portion of cake!” Nothing quite motivates those young ones as the promise of something sugary. They moved on me like ants onto a picnic basket. From all corners of the castle came these children manic at the thought of extra cake. “Nooooooooo!” I went down, they were too many for me. They piled on top of me blocking the sky from sight. Salvation was hopeless. No other adult would venture into their castle to save me. I was on my own.
Struggle I did. I bucked my back and got about 3 of me. With the reduced weight I managed to crawl 1 metre to the exit, it felt like miles, before 6 jumped atop me. Was this to be the end of me?! At the hands of enemy barely 2 feet tall! What a dishounarable way to die…
Ruthless they were, refusing to listen to my cries of surrender. They grabbed me by my feet and dragged me back into the ballroom of the castle-smack dab in the centre. The floors sagged beneath my weight causing a depression soo deep the children tumbled into it and inadvertently into me. Some cried out in pain as they couldn’t take the weight of their counterparts atop them. “Have mercy!” I screamed. But they were manic…..sugar thirst.
Then I heard the sweet sweet words, “Cake cutting time!” and suddenly the pressure was released.
Happy birthday Alvin and Ariana, from your proud aunt 🙂 and to the lovely Charles (sic) and Angy Macharia who threw it all together