Title: The Dark Well

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Chapter 1: Jeremy and Jeremiah love football

Jeremy and Jeremiah were playing with their friends Jack and Louis in the grass in the evening. They were using a ball rolled out of banana fibres collected from their banana plantation. They liked to play football every evening with their friends.

Jeremy was 6 years old and Jeremiah was 7 years old. Jack and Louise were also 7 years old and went to the same school called Masanafu Primary school.

When Jeremy was kicking the ball towards Jack, he heard his mother calling out for them. She called them three times until they heard her voice.

“You have been playing the all-day”, said their mother. The sun was almost going to sleep. They did not have any water in the drum to use the next day. Their mother wanted them to collect water from the village well they would use to wash utensils and their dirty clothes early in the morning.

Chapter 2: The narrow path

When the two boys heard their mother calling out for them, they rushed to pick their jerry cans. Each jerry can be 5 litres. It was already dark, but they still had to collect water from the well. The path to the well was very narrow. At the time, they had to go to the well alone to quickly fetch water for their mother. Neither did their mother nor the two friends go to the well with them this time. She stayed home to cook food for the family. Their father had gone to the garden to plant the maize seeds they had bought from Nakalo market.

Jeremy and Jeremiah started their journey carrying their empty jerry cans tied with a cloth on their backs. As they walked through the path to the well, they heard different sounds from hummingbirds, screaming monkeys. The sounds could make one afraid, but Jeremy and Jeremiah are used to the sounds. The well was far away from their home. They had to walk a long distance to get there. It always took them a long time before they could reach to fetch water to take back home.

As they walked and walked, Jeremiah suddenly heard something falling off the tree. When he looked behind, he saw that it was a snake that had fallen off the Tree. He began to run. Jeremy followed him. They ran fast. At first, Jeremy did not know why he was running.

Jeremy shouted A black snake, A black snake. When Jeremy heard, he ran very fast. Jeremy ran faster than Jeremiah. Jeremiah asked him to stop, but he did not listen as the snake had stopped chasing them.

They could now see the open well at a distance that was in the middle of the village forest. But Jeremy could not stop running. When he tried to stop, he slipped over and fell in the grass that had covered part of the well. He held the soft moving grass and old wooden logs that were placed on the well for stepping on as they collected water.

Chapter 3: Jeremy calls out for help

He screamed, help me to Jeremiah several times. Immediately, his bother Jeremiah rushed to pick a long stick. He wanted to use it to pull Jeremy out of the well. The stick was very slippery. At this moment, it was already getting dark and scary. For many times, Jeremiah tried to pull him out of the well but failed. They were both sweating and crying. No adult was around to help him get out of the well where he had fallen.

Jeremiah quickly thought. He asked Jeremiah to hold on to the old wooden logs so that he would not drown in the well. Jeremiah got the plan to go back for 1 km to call their parents so that they could pull Jeremy out of the well.

Chapter 4: Jeremiah runs to call their parents

Jeremiah left the dark well. He left Jeremy alone still holding onto the soft grass and old logs. He ran very fast, faster than ever. He wanted to tell their parents what had happened to his brother. He was crying.

When Mr Kavuma the village priest found him running while crying as he ran closer to their home, he did not tell him what had happened. Instead, he ran faster only to find his father was still in the garden. He immediately told his father that Jeremy had fallen into the well. Mr Kavuma had been following him since he saw him crying. His father, mother and Mr Kavuma followed Jeremiah to the well so that they could help get Jeremiah out of the well. They also ran faster so that Jeremy could not get in danger.

The villagers heard about what had happened to Mr Katto’s sons after they were sent to the well alone (murmuring). Some of them went to the dark well to see what had happened.

When Mr Kato got to the well, he used a strong rope and pulled out Jeremy while he was crying loud for help.

Chapter 5: The Village meeting

When the leader of the village heard about what had happened, he called everyone to a meeting the next day. Every member in the village was supposed to attend. They wanted to share ideas about how they could bring clean water to their village and stop sending their children to the well to fetch water. The members were happy that they had called for such a meeting.

One of the members informed the meeting that they could get tap water as he had seen it in Nasana City when he went to visit their relatives.  But, this was very expensive for the village.

Nakasozi, a villager from stood up and informed the members that as it was the rainy season, they could collect rainwater and use it for many things at home like washing clothes and utensils.

One of the members also informed the meeting that he had heard over the radio that they can be taught to build water tanks to store more water they could use at home for washing their clothes, utensils, and bathing.

The members agreed to invite Musomo group to teach them how to make water tanks that they could build themselves.

Chapter 7: The villagers get clean water

The leader invited Musomo group the next week to train them on how to build water tanks. They had to use bricks, stones, sand, cement, soil, and water to make the water tank. Five men were selected, including, Jeremy and Jeremiah’s father to learn how to make the water tank. They bought all the materials they had to use to make the tank.

After the community tank was built to collect water from the roof to the tank, the village got clean water. Jeremy and Jeremiah also helped their father to pass on the materials to the builders. The village well in the middle of the forest was closed and they put sand in it so that more children would not fall inside it.

 After they built a water tank at their home, Jeremy and Jeremiah were happy that they did not have to go to the dark well again.

– end –

Written by Katabira Liam

*** In our effort to encourage creative writing amongst kids, we will be publishing articles from different children. Please read other stories written by Katabira Liam. Equally, efforts are being made to have the stories published as a book. If you have other talented children who can write beautiful stories, let us know. We can help have their stories publicized and published. Let us help and encourage children to write and be conscious of their environment. That makes them potential leaders of tomorrow.