BLACK AND WHITE BLOOD

A farmer's wife's dog dies. Who else will die as a result of the pet's death?

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5. 5

 

 

The boy in charge of the cattle saw the dust in the distance. He knew it was Kruger’s vehicle. He ran down the hillside towards the huts shouting. ‘Wake up! Wake up! It’s the farmer. He’s coming!’

 

*

 

Kruger stopped his truck and got out. ‘Where’s Jabulani?’ he asked.

Paul took off his hat and went across to speak to the farmer.

He came back and told Jabulani to get into the back of the bakkie.

 

‘Where’s Dixon?’ Kruger asked the Jabulani.

 

They drove to a nearby group of crude dwellings and asked for Dixon. Dixon’s parents sent him out to the farmer.

 

‘Where’s the handbag?’ he asked the boys.

 

They looked at him blankly and shook their heads. But Kruger knew they were lying. He could see it written all over their faces. He’d lived amongst these people all his life. He could read any one of them like he could read a magazine.

 

*

 

When they had driven through the automated gates, Kruger told the boys to wait in the machine shed. He told Dixon to take off his shirt and his trousers and to lean across one of the tractor wheels. He tied the naked boy’s wrists and ankles to the machine’s axles. He told Jabulani to stand next to Dixon.

 

‘Take your pants off. You’re next,’ he told Jabulani.

‘No. Not there. Closer to him. I want you to feel this too,’ he instructed.

 

Kruger took a sjambok off its hook. He touched the tip of Jabulani’s foreskin with the whip.

 

Then he struck Dixon viciously across the buttocks. Once. Twice. And again. And again and again.

 

Jabulani wet himself.

 

Dixon was bleeding and screaming. The farmer’s wife came to the door of the shed. She stood there with her legs apart.

‘Fok, Jannie. Be careful. You don’t want to kill him.’

 

Jabulani told the farmer he would show him where his sister in law’s handbag was hidden.

 

*

 

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