There was a man I used to call my neighbour. He lived across the hedge where the old desolate mud house now stands in fatigue. He lived with his wife and his children and his cow in the mud house. He was an awe, my neighbour of the mud house, admonished even by the novices of life.

He had resigned from tilling his fields. He was a rarity in his own home, and his station was with the brewer where his ration was the cup of liquor he got for his labour. He had sold his ware for the tots. His mud house was sorry to the sights. His wife was a beggar of sorts. His children walked bare, save for shorts torn at the breeches, and were the laughing stock of their mates.

In the small hours we would hear his voice drone as he staggered his way home, carrying nothing but drunken rage to bestow on his own, who eventually abandoned protest. They chose to be mum, taking all the derogations with eyes looking down, and the floggings with screech upon scream.

On the last day I saw him, there was a fracas in his home. He was atop his mud house at the crack of dawn, stripping his own roof to take to pawn. When we had forced him to alight we questioned him on the whereabouts of the proceeds from the cow he had carried off to auction hardly a week past. The more youthful among us waved their machetes. The women were screaming blue murder. But even in the sea of red fury his wife was speechless, and they had to scream at her to get her to start packing.

There was a man, I dare remind you, a man I called my neighbour — my neighbour of the mud house. But he is no longer my neighbour. And he was not a man — he was half a man. His other half had been lost somewhere, somehow. The hospital where we exiled him did promise that they could find it through rehabilitation.

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    9 months ago

    Daniel, I was immediately drawn to your story by the title, “My Neighbour of the Mud House” and the captivating photo.Excellent choices! Your story left me in awe of your talented writing. The repetition of the title throughout was like an eerie chant. A feeling of great sorrow overcame me in the way the villain/protagonist verbally and physically beat his family into submission and feelings of worthlessness. You perfectly captured the horror… Read more »

    Reply to  Daniel Onchoka
    9 months ago

    Daniel, you did a splendid job of writing a very powerful cautionary tale, which totally supports our family-friendly goals. Excellent work.

    9 months ago

    Hello Daniel. Like Margarida, I was attracted to your story by the title and picture. Those really set the stage for a story that was heartbreaking and touching. It’s profoundly tragic that this story is played out all over the world, in all walks of life, from mud huts to penthouses. You write with such sensitivity and caring, as you always do. How are your medical studies going?

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    8 months ago

    Hello, Daniel. Wow. Your story is very powerful and tragic yet relatable to so many. Very touching and moving. I hope many can reflect on this story.

    Please allow me to send you my heartfelt appreciation for making a very sensible and great story. Well done. I am eagerly looking forward to reading more stories from you.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Daniel Onchoka
    8 months ago


    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Daniel Onchoka
    7 months ago

    Congratulations on your well deserve win, Daniel.

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