“Ni lunch time bana,” Adolf my classmate exclaimed.
We had been kneeling down for 20 minutes. Our home science teacher Mrs Bundi had asked the class to sew a sleeveless top using the backstitch and we hadn’t. She did not take it kindly.
Our punishment was kneeling outside the classroom and missing her whole lesson.
Our knees were aching and we were eagerly waiting for the lunch break bell to set us free. But that was not to be.
“Follow me to the staffroom,” Mrs Bundi summoned us in a calm but firm tone.
“Please forgive us teacher, we promise to finish your assignment on time,” Juliana, a tomboy who was always in trouble, pleaded. Mrs Bundi did not respond, and instead continued walking to the staffroom.
Fearing to provoke her further we timidly followed her, keeping a safe distance as we prayed earnestly for a miracle.
“Ooh the usual suspects are here. What have they done this time?” Mr Kamau, the school headmaster, bellowed the moment we stepped into the staffroom.
Mr Kamau stood six feet five, with a protruding pot belly that hang loosely over his waistline.
“They did not complete my assignment,” Mrs Bundi responded.
“Laleni chini mara moja!” Mr Kamau ordered, while folding his shirt over his arms. And just as he picked up a Bunsen burner to whip our bottoms, we heard wild high-pitched screams.
Mr Kamau dropped the Bunsen burner on the floor as some teachers scampered out of the staffroom.
FLEE TO SAFETY
I thought some pupils were engaged in a brawl at the assembly ground. But the moment I saw Mrs Bundi run for shelter while covering her head, and then lying prostrate beside Adolf, I knew all was not well.
Then I spotted Mr Kamau fighting for space with Mrs Akello in the staffroom cupboard.
“Bwaaaa ha haaaaaaaa,” I burst out laughing, unable to contain it.
No one was really paying attention to me and I enjoyed watching people running about.
Mr Matolo, the karate club teacher, was seeking cover under the table.
After about three minutes of chaos in the staffroom, the screams outside grew louder and louder.
I nudged Adolf, knowing well this was our chance to escape from the staffroom. Then I noticed that he had wet himself and the liquid was slowly making its way towards Mrs Bundi’s skirt – and she was too shaken to notice it.
I left Adolf and crawled towards the door stealthily, to find out the cause of the screams.
A swarm of bees was hovering over the assembly ground, attacking helpless pupils.
I immediately lay flat on the ground just between the staffroom and the assembly section, contemplating whether to go back to the staffroom and get canned or run across the assembly ground and then outside the school.
I decided to dash across the assembly ground, past our class and towards the playing field where I met a group of Standard Seven pupils.
Apparently the bees were on a revenge mission after their hive in the agriculture farm was stoned by some pupils. They had been sent home by the principal to collect school fees just before the lunch break.
Something had to be done fast and from the look of things, the Standard Seven pupils didn’t seem bothered by the situation. Some of them left for home.
I ran out of the school compound to get help and I was torn between going to a nearby city council dispensary or the police station. I reasoned that the police officers wouldn’t arrest the swarm of bees so I went to the dispensary.
“Saidia, saidia (Help, help),” I shouted, signalling the nurses at the door.
“Calm down, calm down,” someone said as a gentle hand tapped my shoulder.
“We need help. Our school is under attack from a swarm of bees,” I told the nurse in between breaths.
Then I passed out.
I woke up to find myself lying on a hospital bed. The nurse told me they removed 12 bee stings on the left side of my neck.
Shortly after I woke up, Mr Kamau walked in and told me there had been an emergency evacuation after I raised the alarm.
“Young man, your brave act of courage has saved the school...You deserve a badge of courage!” he said, firmly shaking my hand.