Never Fight A Man Who Lives On The Mountains.

The fight that changed me. I was little, naive and didn't know I lacked the skills to throw him in a fight.

It happened in primary four when we imitated the fearlessness of revered warriors and the courage of brave men who dared even demons. To us, to have courage meant fighting whenever a challenge was thrown by a fellow student. So, one day, I was challenged to a duel by a boy that lived in a village in the mountains. He was overly smallish. A Zacheus prototype. I was appalled that such a smallish creature would choose to take me up on a fight. It was a terrible insolence demeaning to my reputation in school. My friends urged me on, and I accepted.

For he was like a sheep facing a lion, and we walked energetically to the field. Face to face, we stood on the carpet grass that spread across the length and breadth of the field. I was sure of victory. Soon I sought sand and got a handful. 'If you see yourself as the strongest man in the whole world, empty my palm of the sand,' I said with a fierce look into his brown eyes. Without a second thought, he emptied the sand with his right palm, and a slap by the left palm greeted my cheek. In a trice, darkness clouded one of my eyes. I fought back with an eye, landing a terrible blow on his stomach, but my fist bounced back as though Cristiano Ronaldo's shot hit the woodwork.

We grabbed each other strongly. Muscles stiffened and glistened in the sun. Bones became stronger as our veins made lines as fierce as our agitated hearts. He gripped me by my stomach. I bent on a knee and held tightly to his neck. 'Hey hey hey! Let go of yourselves, you women,' bellowed the referee. 'Let us get back to school if you can't fight like men.'We freed ourselves forthwith. But the scoundrel was too quick. He crouched a little and swept me off my feet. I landed with a thud as my neck hit a wood nearby. Shimmering stars danced in my eyes for some seconds.

When I reopened my eyes, I was alone with the man from the mountains. Even the referee had scampered back to school. My neck was heavy with pain. I could not bow my neck. He helped me back to school. I got the needed attention afterward, and we became good friends. I never fought again. So, never fight a man who lives in the mountains. Wonder why I called him 'man'? He was 15 then; I was just 9.

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