An entry in the Crocodile Prize
Paga Hill Development Company
Award for Writing for Children
KOVA was the fattest and roundest boy in the village. He had a huge stomach that covered almost all the lower parts of his body.
Kova had no friends. All the kids in the village made fun of him. They bullied him and called him names like ‘Frog-belly’, ‘Piggy’, ‘Balloon’ and ‘Big-mama’.
So Kova kept to himself and never joined the village children to play marbles and other games. They would chase him away if he tried to follow them to the river or into the bush.
No one really knew who Kova’s parents were. He lived with an old couple who he called his grandparents. Since he was the only child in the house, he was given the best of everything including food.
He never stopped eating. Everywhere he went he had something in his hand to chew on.
“Look at you, greedy pig,” the boys would tease him. “All you do is eat, eat and eat to fill that big stomach of yours.”
Kova would call to his grandmother, who would bring out her walking stick and point it furiously at the children. The children would scream and laugh and run away.
They made up stories that Kova’s grandmother was a horrible witch who killed little children and drank their blood.
One day the children decided to play at the big river. They gathered their fishing strings, spears and catapults.
“Can I come, please?” asked Kova.
“What did you say, Big-mama?” asked a boy mockingly. The group of boys burst into laughter.
“I’m sorry we’ve no time to drag along a pig,” said another boy. The boys laughed even harder at this.
Kova watched the boys take the track that led to the big river. He went to his house, grabbed a little spear his grandfather had made him and followed them, making sure he stayed out of sight.
He finally arrived at the river. All the boys were playing and laughing in the river. They were shouting and splashing water at each other and chasing each other in and out of the river.
Kova found a quiet spot away from the boys and started looking for tadpoles beside the river bank.
Suddenly he heard the boys screaming. At first he thought they were just shouting at each other but then he noticed them running out of the river, shoving and pushing each other. Kova slowly climbed on a big stone to see what was going on.
To his amazement he saw a huge boar ready to attack the boys. The boys threw stones at the boar to chase it away but the boar was not concerned. The more stones they threw, the closer the boar surged toward them.
They climbed a big rock beside the river, crying and clinging to each other. They knew the boar was strong enough to shake the rock and bring all of them down.
The boar gave an angry grunt and rushed toward the rock. The boys screamed and shut their eyes as the boar made a mad rush. They could feel the earth trembling and the stone shaking.
Then they heard a painful cry from the boar. They opened their eyes and to their amazement stood Kova right in front of the boar. The boar had a spear sticking out of its forehead.
It grunted in pain and struggled on the ground and finally lay still. The boar was dead. Kova pulled his spear out.
The boys jumped off the stone and lifted the heavy Kova. They carried him, their knees bending a bit, singing, “Kova, Kova,Kova”, and praising him as a hero.
From then on, they were good friends with Kova. They never teased him or made fun of him. Kova became their new leader.
Moral of the story: Never judge people because of their appearance or background. You never know what they are capable of doing. They may be angels in disguise.