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A dog is born with 3 legs and a spare!

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On our village, Bukirimwa which hails from Bududa which used to be part of Manjiya country but apparently now is a village in Bududa, we had a very famous dog.

Our famous dog that all of us grew up with and around and met at the small river, sijui water pipe stream spring always had this dog as a treasure. We all loved this dog.  In fact, far too many of us would hide our food so that when we were sent to collect water, we would feed our best friend.

Then one day something very bad happened.  This was nothing short of a catastrophe.  Well, it was worse than bad.  It was so bad that it involved a matter of life and death.  Because it was Nursery School Interview day and the questions for the nursery children to join a school in Uganda are terribly hard.

We all spent a week.  My siblings and I.  We had to get this one perfect to get a place in P1 in Bududa Primary School for our little brother and we were all throwing questions at that kid so fast you would not even blink and we expected him to have all the right answers.  Well, just so he could get into that village school at the tender age of 5.  Which was very stupid now that I think about it because most of us did not go to that school till we were 6 or 8 years old.  But Anthony was special.  He had to get in come hell or high water.

Naturally, none of the siblings were allowed to be in the room when the little bambino was being interviewed but walls have ears and oh yeah, even the fly on the wall talked.

Anthony, how many legs does a chicken have?  TWO.

How many legs does a cow have? FOUR.

Anthony, sit on the table.  NO, IT IS BAD MANNERS TO SIT ON THE TABLE.

Anthony, how many legs does a goat have?  Four.  A sheep? Four.  A rabbit? Four.

Anthony, how many legs does a dog have?  THREE.

This is where Things Fell Apart.  The teacher who had been impressed by this young kid was suddenly thrown into shock.  Why would a kid who was so smart say that a dog had 3 legs?  Thank heaven she did not write off the kid and flank him out of school before he even went there.  She asked him to explain why a dog has 3 legs.

“Imbwa yaweffe ili nibikyele bitaru.  Tsya urebe papa Kutosi. Imbwa ya papa Kutosi niyo imbwa yeffe.  Atte ili nibikyele bitaru”.

Translation. “Our dog has 3 legs.  You go and ask my uncle Kutosi.  His dog, which is our dog has 3 legs.”

That was the most famous dog on our village Bukirimwa.  And it was not because that dog had 3 legs.  It was because Papa Kutosi was a superb uncle, brother, friend, relative, you call anything but that man was the man.  He had a dog.  AND the funny thing about our dog.  Papa Kutosi had found that dog abandoned when it had an accident and lost a leg.  Our uncle took care of that dog like a baby and we all on the village learned to love the dog and never even thought that a dog needed 4 legs.

My little brother is actually a lecturer in Sciences and a Public Health Inspector and I know he will never allow a stray dog to be killed the way KCCA is killing stray dogs in Uganda.  We had a 3 legged legend dog.

But there are more stories from the village and Denis Wabuyi does a great job of telling you our X-Files from the Village.  Uganda has a rich culture.  Bugisu / Masaba has a rich history of telling stories and solving problems.  Kale, let them go there like they are doing in Amuru and we shall awaken our ancestors plus the 3 legged dog.

Tukooye.  Mama nga tuli bakoowu.  Nembwa esinga amagezi.  Mbu muchebeni yatusinga amagezi. Naye ye addira kyi?  Addira abasoga oba abagisu?  Kuluno agenda okuta abakyoli kubanga lweyasoka okubata, twali tuwebase.  But are we asleep now?  Watukidde, emizimu gyigenda okumubulira amazima.  Agenda okweyambura ngomularu.

Martha Leah Nangalama


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