Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Twenty-Five

Please, Just Help Me Help Myself

Alexander M Zoltai


Kwame Wekesa sat on the ground in front of his modest home, wondering about the future of his family.

The weather wasn’t helping anyone—the ancestral spirits seemed to have abandoned all the farmers—the earth itself was snubbing seeds…

Perhaps he should visit the city, talk to those (what were they called?) development people…


Kwame got new seeds—new tools (very unfriendly tools)—had to get help to read the “manuals” from the development people—thought his ancestral spirits might be nervous…


Six months passed—nothing improved—his family was beginning to starve…


One of the Big Countries sent food—Kwame and his family rationed what they got, very carefully.


Other folks came to visit, rather like the development people; but, they came to Kwame, he didn’t have to go to them; they asked him many questions; they lived in tents and visited the fields with him—more questions, then they all talked with themselves and on their radios.

Later, a helicopter arrived with three more people and some strange tools.

Kwame then learned that most of the tools had been made according to a plan devised from his own answers to all the many questions these folks had asked him—he got along with the tools as if they were old friends…

They taught him about making the air get more moist with a very strange machine—he didn’t understand but they told him he’d helped them make the strange machine…

They also brought seeds just like the ones he used to have—he fed the seeds from the first group of development people to his starving cow (praying it wouldn’t get sick…).


New sprouts two months later.

Three more months and there were baby vegetables.

Two years later and Kwame was forming a collective with his neighboring farmer friends that helped them all begin to export food.


Three years later:

Kwame held his new son—thought about those kind folk who’d asked him so many questions—decided they were friends of his ancestral spirits………


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