Strays In the Backyard

Disclaimer: The story you are about to read contains descriptions about animals getting killed. Do not attempt this at home & don’t report us to KSPCA or to the City Council. We love animals. Honest.

I first heard the noise late one night. The suspicious rustling of the maize stalks in our backyard as if somebody was creeping around the “shamba” in the middle of the night. I peeped through my bedroom window into the darkness but could not make anything out. I went back to sleep but reluctantly  because I was freaked out. I can’t exactly remember how long but this went on and off for several nights.

One morning I heard the same suspicious noise again. Now in broad daylight, I looked outside and saw a dog (with brownish black fur) which had apparently thought he could be our new best friend. It had found its way in through a hole in the fence and moved in. For that dad said it had to die. Cruel world.
Sunday afternoon after church, dad took a “panga” and went to the backyard to do the deed. He found it resting under a wooden structure and prompted it out so he could you know, kill it. Worse, he called me to assist him – talk about trauma. Before that day, the only living things I had ever had a hand in killing were cockroaches. Because they don’t deserve to exist. [Mosquitoes don’t qualify.] What happened next must not be put in writing but when it was done, dad wiped the panga; packed the carcass in a bag for disposal and left for the afternoon fellowship.

This dog business was to recur sometime later when through a similar hole in the fence, another dog (a white one this time) found its way in and decided to make our yard his home. There were no maize stalks to rustle in the middle of the night. In fact I don’t think it used to sleep in the yard – it was a huge, healthy dog that just used to visit & stay during the day, then disappear for the night. Once in a while we would see the dog standing on its hind feet trying to catch our attention through the window. So like we’d just be chilling and then suddenly there’s this white thing outside the window. It was really weird. Like it’s predecessor, this dog had to go.
The day it happened I was away for the day but my dad and two sisters were in the house. This time he enlisted the help of the watchman. The watchman got into the yard from the outside and together they sealed the hole in the fence in order to trap the dog inside. My dad was to go back into the house so that he could access the yard through the back door. The dog would be trapped between the two of them so it would be easy to finish it off. So much for best laid plans – they did not see this coming. As soon as he started pulling back the door, the dog which was in panic mode from the approaching watchman burst in to the corridor, overpowering him. Dad quickly had all the doors leading to the corridor closed and now he was the one trapped in the small space with this huge vicious canine. He was trying to kill it and at the same time fighting for his life. If he didn’t kill it, it was going to kill him. Meanwhile my sister Cat, was in a crazy panic, screaming all over the place, “my dad is going to get killed!” “that thing is killing my dad!” At one point the door was opened and the fight moved to the sitting room. Hurt and bleeding all over, the dog was climbing  the sofas; scaling the windows; making for the stairs, desperate to find a way out…..the dog’s howling plus my sister’s screaming made the chaos complete.
Finally, dad to kill it & pack its carcass for disposal. He got away without a scratch but the corridor……..

The final & most recent backyard incident involved a man; not a dog. It was on a weekday last year and I was on leave. I look outside the window and see him sleeping under the loquat tree. I ran upstairs to look again through another window & true enough, there he was. I was alone in the house so I could not confront him so I left to run some errands and when I came back he was still there. When dad came home, that’s the first thing I told him. He wanted to storm the yard and toss the guy out but agreed to use more diplomatic means. He got his friend and when they approached they guy, he turned out to be a drunk who found himself a quiet place to nurse a serious hangover. Unwelcomed. In someone else’s compound. SMH. They only let him go after lecturing him on why he should avoid alcohol.

One thought on “Strays In the Backyard

  1. Anonymous says:

    LOL! What a day it was! I can clearly remember screaming over and over again, "Baba yangu anauliwa! UUIIII! Then the stench after the whole fiasco! The house smelt like a slaughter house for more than a week, despite using a couple of bottles of disinfectant!

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