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Family gatherings are usually memorable event because I get to meet relatives that I have not seen for quite sometime and the childhood memories that we get to share and laugh out. What makes it more interesting is the fact that it is the only time when we feast on a full animal that has been prepared by the family members. The animal, most often a cow is set aside specifically for the event is slaughtered in the compound by the men and subsequently cooked by the women. It is accompanied by many other delicacies that are definitely loved by the group. The feast is done strategically to ensure that at the time of eating, everyone is at the table and that there is no one in the kitchen or carrying out some activities. When its time for cooking and generally preparing the meal, everyone is engaged in a number of activities. This is done until when the food is ready and only waiting to be eaten. The feasting occasion is mostly done in the evening where it is accompanied by introduction of the members especially those that got spouses and children within the year.
This day, the program was changed to ensure that everyone pays attention to what was being said. Due to the inconveniences that come when people are eating, it was agreed that the speech and introduction session would be done before the eating. To prevent people from salivating over the food, it was also agreed that the food should be left in the kitchen and only be warmed and brought to the table after the introductions. Even though some people were against the idea, majority agreed that it would help them pay attention to what was being said rather than the food. As agreed, the food was locked in the kitchen as everyone headed to the tent where the official feasting was to be done. A register was done to ensure that everyone who had attended the event was present. This is usually done so that someone does not come later and demand a repetition of what was said because they were not there. After confirming that everybody was around, the introduction began from the eldest to the youngest.
The aroma from the kitchen was worth waiting for even as people laughed through the session. The ultimate was definitely enjoying the delicacies that had been prepared specially for the occasion. The family is big and diversified and so the recipes for the food were also diversified. Anybody that had a unique recipe was never locked out and allowed to prepare the meal. There was a lot to look forward to as people were served as per there wishes. The food was not only more than enough for everyone but also diversified to accommodate every taste. Well, after all had been said, the women were requested to go start warming the food and prepare the tables for the official feasting. It was as if everyone was waiting for this moment even as the laughter became louder. Plates and other cutleries were brought to the table as some of the foods that did not require warming streamed at the table. Suddenly a scream was heard from the kitchen.
Everyone got concerned thinking that probably an accident had just happened, the lady who had let out the scream was not talking and everyone kept wondering what was wrong. They tried to check if she had got burned or injured but everything was okay. In the process everything continued as normal. I was requested to talk to the lady to find out what was wrong and she whispered to me that she saw something in the stew that she was warming. Without waiting to hear the details, I rushed to the pot to have a look at it and probably signal others before something dangerous happened. What I saw shocked me and was held between speaking and just keeping quite. It was the main stew of the day and it would be disappointing to tell the expectant relatives that it could not be eaten. A cat had actually drowned in the soup!