On a fateful day in which hunger was so intense that its torment made us lose sight of our other worries, Kabiru and I went to the city, hoping to snatch a crumb that would let us witness tomorrow.
All the city merchants were aware of the recent robberies, and most of our victims warned others against us, so much that we could no longer freely approach the shops without being shouted at or chased by a vengeful mob. But today was the day of a major festival, and many unaware foreign merchants would be there, and we would be invisible in the crowd. So we thought.
We didn’t choose the perfect victim. Instead, our stomachs stopped us near a stall selling the typical meat-filled bread of a faraway land. A young man was smilingly selling the merchandise while receiving orders from a pleasant elder, probably the owner and his father. The elder was another one, but he appeared so strong and muscular that I would’ve sworn he was forty years longer without his white beard and bald head. He seemed to be an old friend of the owner.
Kabiru didn’t bother gazing at the scene like I did, however. Taking advantage of the veil offered by the crowd, the music, and the distraction of the salesman, he snatched the exposed merchandise, but so fast and so well that I didn’t even notice him before he grabbed me by the hand and led me to the nearby alley where we would finally eat.
We both froze as we were rejoicing and about to break our fast, and we had felt an overwhelming presence behind our backs. When we turned around and looked, we found, blocking the alley’s exit, the man standing with the merchant we thieved.
The weight of his presence prevented us from attempting anything, and we felt powerless, so we simply submitted. Kabiru approached him without looking the man in the eyes and returned what he had taken earlier.
“Keep it. But pay for it”, said the man as he threw coins at us.
He then took us back to the food stall, paid us for what he gave us, and made us apologize to the owner and his son.
Then he took us apart, and we sat down with him. He got Kabiru to tell him all that befell us since we lost our mother. Touched by our story, he offered us to live with him. He promised not only to feed us and give us a roof but to train our minds and bodies so that we could escape the pathetic state that was ours