The Mooi family owned a lawn which resembled a golf course. Almost everyday ten year old Mfundo would play there. He would run on the field, chase some butterflies, throw himself on the lush grass, roll his body and laugh. In most occasions he would play with his slingshot, and grandpa Moses – his paternal grandfather – would be seated on his rocking chair near the house’s veranda, smoking his black pipe. 

He was eighty six. His skin was soft, creased and fragile. He had been warned every time to quit smoking but the old man wouldn’t listen. “I’m gonna die anyway. We all gonna die,” he’d retort. Little Mfundo was his favourite. Yes, there was also Fezeka, his nine year old granddaughter but she was just a girl. 

When his son Ntsika and his son’s wife, his daughter in law, Nambitha have gone to their jobs during the day (he was a doctor and she was a lawyer) Mfundo would come home from school to find the housemaid Tryphina, and find his grandpa where he left him; on his yellowish brown chair swinging back and forth, smoke floating from the pipe dangling on his white moustache shadowed wrinkle mouth. 

The smile would form on both their lips once their eyes meet. Mfundo would say hi to Tryphina the maid, throw his bag to wherever and rush to grandpa. 


“How was school?” Grandpa Moses asked. 

“School was great, mkhulu,” Mfundo’s hands were on the old man’s laps that day. 

“Did you get it? Did you tell her?” Grandpa asked in his hoarse voice. 

Little Mfundo frowned. “I couldn’t, mkhulu.” 

“How? Why?” 

Mfundo looked down, “I was scared,” he said. 

Tell us: Can you perhaps guess what little Mfundo was scared to do?