It was started off as just a normal day at work. Mr Phiri was our tractor driver; he collected us every day from home, with Mr Swannepoel’s tractor, all the way to work. The sun was shining; it was a very beautiful day. We were singing at the back of the tractor so we could not hear the huge sound the tractor made. It was a very long distance for us to work and singing made it bearable.
Mme Maake never knew that the singing was bringing good luck for her that day. We started collecting cottonwood from the field like we did every day, piece by piece, putting in the big sack. We enjoyed the work very much, especially when it was time for lunch; we sat down to eat, talking and enjoying the jokes that were told until it was time to go back to work.
While we were busy working, Mme Make found a big, yellow plastic bag. She sat down because she was curious about what was in the bag.
“Mokgala mmakapa (oh my God),” she cried in a low voice. The people closest to her heard and wanted to know what the matter was.
“Ke eng, Mme Make (what is it that you see)?” they asked.
“Tshelete (money)!” she yelled.
How could anyone leave money like that in the field? “It must have been thieves running away from the police and forgot where the place was when they returned,” people speculated. “You are very lucky Mme Make, your prayers are answered.” They rejoiced.
But Mme Make could not believe her eyes; she was shaking with fear.
“I am taking this money to Mr Swannepoel. It must be his money because it is in his field.” Mme Make shocked everyone and made them angry. They tried to talk sense into her but she did not want to listen to them. She went running to Mr Swannepoel screaming, “Ntate! Ntate! I found money while I was working.”
Mr Swannepoel couldn’t believe it. He took the bag and checked if it was real money. He shook his head. “Foolish woman!” he yelled. “How could you find money and bring it to me? What are you here for, are you not here to get money? Now you get money and bring it to me? You are really foolish, that doesn’t show common sense at all.”
When we went back home later everyone was staring at the foolish woman. “You found money and gave it to your boss and he did not give you even a little sent to say ‘thank you’. And now your children are going to stay hungry.”
Tell us: Would you have told anyone about the money? What would you have done if you had found it?