Mfundo grabbed his slingshot and ran to the open lawn. The grass welcomed him with butterflies, but a new idea arrived to the boy. A flock of swallows landed and hopped around the grass. So he decided to it would be fun to try and shoot the birds that day. Besides, he always missed the butterflies.

Mfundo found the biggest stones and pulled each of them in a slingshot. But the birds easily ducked, swerving away in the sky like jets moving out of a missile’s way. Shot after shot, stone after stone, Mfundo missed, stones disappearing in the sky to land somewhere else. The birds circled the sky about, moving back and forth, ducking his fired stones. Mfundo felt like the birds were laughing down at him, taunting him.

Mfundo tried and tried but still, the only thing his stones could hit was the air.

He took the biggest stone, put it on the slingshot, pulled the rubber bands with all his might, his teeth on the lower lip. He aimed the black bird dancing above him. He let go of the rubber bands, the bird moved up and Mfundo missed again, watched his biggest stone turn smaller and smaller in the sky until it vanished. He heard a thousand bird laughter in his head. He slapped his thigh in anger.

But seven minutes later he finally hit a bird and it fell, two feathers detached in the air. Mfundo ran to where the bird laid on the grass, he picked it with its pinion and ran as fast as he could to where grandpa was sitting. It was then that the boy realised how how far he had played away from the old man. So far. The lawn was really big; no neighbours.

Eventually he reached grandpa’s rocking chair. The chair was still swinging, forward and backward.

Mfundo suddenly dropped both the slingshot and the bird. His mouth fell open. Grandpa’s pipe had fallen on the ground. There were also scattered stones on the ground. A couple of more stones were on grandpa’s chest and belly, one fell off joining the others. Another followed. Grandpa’s face was tilted upwards and it was all wet with blood, bleeding from his shiny forehead.

Grandpa wasn’t moving at all

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