Fight for Fire


The sunset can also be referred to as fire in the sky. Photo by Sebastian Musial

A young boy lived on the outskirts of a small village in Africa. He never had a real name when he was born. His mother called him Boy. His mother was his sole provider until she fell ill when he turned age 9. He knew how to draw and speak but did not attend school. He was close with the elders and the neighboring village. He would visit one of the elders and learn how to read and write. When his mother fell ill, he attended to her needs. He pushed through each trial and tribulation with and for his mother. He worked in the garden, cared for the goats, the chickens, and made meals daily for his mother. Each day, his soul grew more and more inflamed for freedom. But he stayed. Boy needed food for himself because his mother received the majority of food. The goats, chickens, and small garden only provided so much. He would walk into the small village and ask the elders if they needed assistance. With his services, they paid him with a meal or scraps. Mostly scraps. In the other village, the elder taught him to read and write. Boy always smiled. At age eleven, he headed home after an afternoon helping the elders. He walked down the dusty path to his shack of a home. 

The door swung open, and Boy started to run. When he arrived at the entrance of his home, he peered into it and did not see his mother. He frantically ran around and then halted when he saw her. His frail mother laid gently against a tree outside. Her breath was faint. He held his mother in his arms and realized how skinny she was.

 “Mother, wake up. Wake up. I have food for you,” said the boy.

Boy’s mother responded very faintly, “Boy, my time is coming. It will soon be time for me to move on.” 

The boy looked down at his mother with grief as he held her.

“Mother, don’t leave me. Don’t leave. You are all I have,” he said, with tears rolling down his cheek.

His mother smiled and said, “You have a future. You will finally…” 

Boy said, “Finally, what mother?” 

“You will finally be free.” his mother replied.

The boy’s mother died that night, and so did a part of him. 

He buried his mother in the morning. Afterward, he laid on his bed. He wept and then let out a laugh. He was surprised by his sudden outburst, but he embraced it. He would soon be free to attend school. He worked hard and tried to raise enough money to attend a school in Kisumu, Kenya. After a month in his second year of hard labor, he succeeded. 

He began school immediately and with a new name. Moto, the Swahili word for fire.