Whipped and forced to kneel on a floor of mongo beans because I didn't sleep

I don’t know why kids hate sleeping after lunch, but just like any other kid my body just refuse to get drowsy at noontime.

Back in time my brothers and I refuse to sleep and will do everything we can to escape from our mother’s detention. When caught, which is often, because our mother is clever(est) we get severe punishment.

One hot afternoon, after an unsuccessful attempt at breaking out from the house, our just-woke up angry mom beat us out of our wits. My mom by the way prepares a stick for each of our misdemeanors big or small, intentional or unintentional. It is selected from the most reliable guava tree, which each of the neighborhood grow in front of their house for easy access. The neighborhood in fact have established from experience that its twig is the best whip that could tame the stubbornest of a child from a feral lion to a sleeping cub.

My hands are dirty mum!
My hands are dirty mum!

While our bodies were sore from the flogging, it did not satisfy our irate mom so that she ordered us to kneel on a floor of beans with our arms raised high up in the air, palms up and facing the altar. My knees were burning while I was looking up at the holy figurines trying to balance my thoughts between the sore from the beatings, the sting from the beans and the paradox of the punishment. We were supposed to offer a prayer before the Virgin Mary and her Holy Son for deliverance from one of our most recent sin – an attempt to escape from the house in an unholy hour in the afternoon. I faced the stone in deep contemplation, trying to weigh the relative fairness of the punishment vis a vis our misdemeanor. Thinking the scene was funny; I stopped crying to suppress my sinister smile until I burst out laughing so hard that I dropped on the floor.

My brothers then removed themselves from the punishment area and we stayed inside the house forcing ourselves to get some sleep and refusing the temptation to bolt out of the door.

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