MUSKY MOPPET; THE AFRICAN TWIST

Musky Moppet the African Twist, is a short story on the adventures of Musky, a street urchin in the city of Puysna in the country of Havealot. The young and rambunctious boy that Musky is, he gets into all sorts of shenanigans while living on his own.

In a twist of fate or is it serendipity while roaming the streets, he meets a kind couple, Mr and Mrs Piedmont who take pity and invite Musky to their home.

The warmness and soothing environment of their home soon take effect on Musky who channels his energies to more positive things.

Musky's most prized possession is an old atlas which unbeknown to him holds secret magical powers, which are soon revealed to him.

One evening while intently studying the continent of Africa on the atlas, Musky feels a spiritual like aura engulf him and finds himself in a mystical distant land.

The African twist in Musky's life takes hold and he goes on adventures filled with different and quirky looking people, vast plains and mountainous regions, weird rituals, folklore, black magic and friendship. Musky's magical journey is inspiring and a great read which gives insight to the African mode of life in a comical yet realistic way.

This manuscript is targeted towards this generation whose imagination is bubbling and search for great understanding. Hope you enjoy the read.

MUSKY MOPPET; THE AFRICAN TWIST

My only wish is that you find time to visit this wonderful place and carry with you in your heart and mind a piece of a world rich in diversity and one that has beautiful landscapes and warm kind hearted people.

CHAPTER ONE

Hey identify yourself!

We are pleased to meet you;

Away I go.

"Somebody stop him, come on now catch the little rascal" yelled John the grocer.

"What has he done?" a passer by on the street asked.

"He helped himself to two loaves of bread from the shop and this is not the first time, he has done it before" replied John.

"Maybe you need to alert the authorities" another passer by remarked.

"I was intending to do just that after I had apprehended him by making a citizens arrest" said John.

"Well good luck to you next time" added the passer by "if I were you I would alert the local authorities before and they will surely know how to deal with the situation".

"May be I will take your advice and alert them, they will probably advise me on how to lay a trap and catch the naughty urchin" said John.

Several minutes had passed by and the young urchin had already gotten away. On an almost abandoned ally two streets away from the grocery shop in Puysna in the country of Havealot, the young boy was already enjoying the loaves of bread the first meal and probably the only one he would have that day. He was choking slighty as he had not managed to pinch a bottle of milk as he had earlier planned. After eating to his fill he walked back to the streets and began making plans on the next victim to fall prey to his conniving ways.

He had been living on the streets of Puysna for the last year after running away from a childrens home. Musky Moppet was his name, he was twelve years of age and very independent.

Musky walked the streets until early evening and when the sun began to set decided to take refuge at the entrance of an abandoned and closed shop. It was Saturday evening and nearing the end of the summer season and luckily still warm. The two blankets he had would keep him well covered through the night. He was tired from walking and running around that sleep seemed to come easily. However, before he could drift off into la la land he was awoken by a loud gruffy voice.

"Young man" said the tall and well built stranger "what are you doing here?"

Musky was scared and tried to make a run for it as he thought it was the local authorities.

However a large hand grabbed him and repeated the question "what are you doing here and don't you have a home to go to?" He tried to release himself from the man's grasp but he suddenly felt his other hand firmly take a hold of him.

"Do not be scared, I am not going to hurt you" said the man "if anything I want to help you. You seem very young to be all by yourself this time of day".

"Ask him his name" said his companion, who happened to be a short pretty woman with a warm smile.

"What is your name lad?" asked the man.

"Musky" he replied in a tiny voice.

"I did not quite hear you, could you please repeat that" demanded the tall man.

"Musky" he said much louder.

"Well Musky, it is nice to meet you. I am going to release my grip on you, but you have to promise me that you will not run away. The lady I am here with is my wife and while we were taking a stroll she saw you sleeping and thought that you might need some assistance. It is not usual to find people lying around in the street".

The lady had a kind face and warm eyes.

"What sort of help do you want to give me?" inquired Musky.

"That really depends on how you behave. Our names are Mister and Missus Piedmont and we do not live to far from here'' said the lady. "You seem too young to be living on the streets by yourself, don't you have any family?" she continued.

Musky did not answer and just stared at the two people.

"Lillianne, perhaps we should leave" suggested Mister Piedmont.

"No Clarence we should assist the poor boy and perhaps provide him with decent food and shelter for the night" said Missus Piedmont.

They deliberated for a while and finally Clarence asked Musky if he would be willing to accompany them to their home.

"Do you really want to take me in? Very few people have showed me kindness most of my life" said Musky.

"Yes, we do" they replied in unison.

"Today is surely my lucky day" announced Musky.

Mister and Missus Piedmont both laughed.

Musky hoped silently that they were displaying genuine kindness and would not turn him to the local authorities.

"I promise to be on my best behaviour" he continued.

"That you should be" agreed Mister Piedmont "and you should refer to us as either sir or madam, it is respectful".

"Well sir and madam, is it possible for you to show me some form of identification?" asked Musky.

They both seemed amused by the question but they displayed their identification cards without hesitation.

Musky thought to himself that they seemed to be a nice couple and one that did not intend to harm him. As they watched, he put together his few possessions and decided that he would take the risk and accompany them. He would do almost anything for a free meal and a warm and decent place to rest.

Mister Piedmont assisted him with his few belongings which consisted of two blankets, a change of clothes and a well worn atlas.

They walked in silence for about an hour until they were on a street referred to as Kensington and in front of a neat brick house with a white picket fence. It seemed to be a nice neighbourhood.

"We are here" announced Missus Piedmont as she opened the small gate and walked into the compound waving them in all the time. She removed a key from her purse and opened the main door and welcomed Musky and Mister Piedmont inside.

Their home was very neat and warmly furnished in brown, beige and yellow colours. Musky sat on a brown settee holding onto his belongings. Mrs Piedmont announced that she was going to the kitchen to prepare them something to eat and directed Mister Piedmont to make Musky comfortable and at home.

"Place your belongings in the corner over there lad and follow me. I will show you where to wash your face and hands" said Mister Piedmont.

Musky followed his instructions and had soon regained his position on the sofa. Missus Piedmont meanwhile had set the table and provided hot chocolate and some snacks. She invited both Mister Piedmont and Musky to the table, showed them their places and served them with the food and drink.

"We eat first and talk later" said Mr. Peidmont, just as his wife finished asking God's blessings for the meal they were about to share.

They ate in silence and Musky who was famished ate all that had been placed before him. When everyone was done he assisted the lady of the house clear the table after which he resumed his place on the brown settee in the living room. He sensed immediately that it was question time and both Mister and Missus Piedmont would want to know all there was to know about him.

"What are your full names?" Mister Piedmont inquired.

"Musky Moppet is my name sir and I am twelve years of age" replied Musky.

"Have you no family and what are you doing in the streets?" he continued, asking two questions at the same time.

"Both my parents passed on when I was four years old. I was told that they died of disease and I have been raised in a childrens home until the age of eleven when I ran away. I was an only child" replied Musky.

"Why did you ran away?" asked Mister Piedmont, who was eyeing him closely.

"I was not getting along with some of the other children at the home especially the older ones who were bullies. I thought that I would come to the city and find work and try better myself" answered Musky.

'It is illegal to employ children as labourers in this part of the country' stated Mister Piedmont. "Were you going to school?"

"No I was not, but the teachers would come to the home several days a week and instruct us. Sir, I do know how to read though I do not write all that well."

"What was the name of the home?"

"Hetherton's Children's Home and it was run by the church".

"I have heard of it. How long have you lived on the street?"

"About one year, sir".

"Where do you put up in the winter?" inquired Mrs Piedmont.

"I usually go to one of the public shelters, where they give us a meal a day and a warm place to sleep in the evenings." He wondered whether he should tell them that at times he helped himself to other peoples food to avoid being hungry but he decided against it.

"Have you not made any friends while on the street?" she continued.

"I am kind of a loner and do not make friends easily. I find it rather difficult madam."

"Well, we have to change all that don't we?" she asked with a smile.

Musky did not answer he just smiled.

"Are you going to cause us any trouble as we try to help you?" inquired Mister Piedmont sternly.

"No sir. I will not as long as I do not return to the childrens home. Don't you have children of your own ?" asked Musky.

"No we do not, God has never blessed us with any" replied Missus Piedmont sadly.

"Why don't you refer to us by our names? I am Lillianne and he is Clarence."

"Well you have very nice names but it is easier for me to refer to you as sir and madam. This is because I am much younger than the both of you and it seems more respectful as I had been told earlier."

"Nicely put and that will do just fine" intervened Mister Piedmont while laughing. "I hope you will not cause us any trouble as street urchins can indeed be very naughty, rude and troublesome. I will take up your case with the authorities next week on Monday morning and figure out whether we are following the law by taking you in."

When he heard the word authorities, Musky's face changed and his eyes were full of fear.

"Do not worry" said Missus Piedmont "we will not let them take you away from us. We are just beginning to get to know you."

"You are talking as if we have already made the decision to take him in permanently, that is subject to discussion, and if at all we do there are several bridges to cross" reproached Mister Piedmont.

"Well excuse me let me begin preparing supper."

She stood up and left the room and headed to the kitchen. She seemed to be a little upset.

"Sir" said Musky "what is it that you and your wife do for a living?"

"I am a barrister at the offices of Barnley and Riley firm, while my wife works as a librarian at Difantus University. Have you ever heard of them and do you know what a barrister or librarian does?"

"No sir" replied Musky though he had a rough idea as to the work of a librarian.

"Well" he continued "a barrister also known as a lawyer is a person who is trained to speak for you in the higher courts of justice while a librarian is a person who works in or is in charge of a library".

At that moment Missus Piedmont returned and began setting the table for supper and suggested that her husband show Musky to the spare room and also the bathroom. She then returned to the kitchen.

"Let us proceed shall we" said Mr. Piedmont "carry your belongings and follow me".

He walked out of the living room and up a curved staircase to the first and only floor of the house. They walked along a corridor until they came to a room at the end. He opened the door and let both Musky and himself in.

The room was decorated in blue and yellow. Musky thought it was a very cheerful room. It had a single bed, a reading desk with a chair, a wardrobe, a small book shelf and a dressing table. There was also a door that led to another room which Musky would soon find out was a bathroom.

"Place all your washables as they are all dirty in the wash basket as I try and find something suitable for you to wear" said Mister Piedmont as he walked out of the room.

Musky did as he was told and sat on a chair awaiting his return.

He returned after a few minutes holding clothing items. He then opened the door to the adjoining room and told Musky it was his personal bathroom. To Musky's surprise he ran the bath for him and instructed him that after taking a bath to wear the change of clothing he had brought and afterwards return to the dining room so that they could have supper.

"Do not forget to wash behind the ears" he chuckled and walked out.

Musky took his time bathing and changing into the clean clothes. They were much too big for him but they were clean and that is what mattered. When he was through he walked back down the stairs and into the dining room where Missus Piedmont had set the table and the meal they were going to have.

She said the grace and thanked the Lord for the meal which consisted of rice, beef and vegetables and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Desert was a slice of chocolate cake. It was a nice meal one that Musky had not had in a long time and he ate to his fill.

"I have not had a home cooked meal in a very long time, thank you" said Musky while looking at Missus Piedmont.

"I enjoyed preparing the meal for everyone and I hope we share many more" replied Missus Piedmont.

"It was indeed a very good meal" added Mister Piedmont.

After Musky had assisted Missus Piedmont clear the table she insinuated it was time for bed.

Musky bade goodnight to Mister Piedmont, and his wife escorted him to his room. She made sure he brushed his teeth and then tucked him into bed.

"Have yourself a good night" said Musky.

"You too dear" she replied "and remember to say your prayers".

"I will. Could you please turn the lights out?"

"Goodnight Musky" she said as she left the room and closed the door behind her.

He lay in bed thinking how lucky he had been to meet the tall, brown eyed, black haired Mister Piedmont and his wife the short, plump, green eyed and red haired Missus Piedmont.

Musky then wondered rather loudly to himself "will I ever be able to tell anyone my secret?"

He lay on his bed going through his most prized possession, an old atlas which unknown to him was magical. His attention was focused on the page detailing what is commonly referred to as the dark continent, that is Africa.

Shortly afterwards he fell into a very deep sleep. As he slept his body was surrounded by what appeared as white flakes with little shining stars which floated in the air around him. Suddenly Musky's silhouette exited his body. They appeared to be two Musky's, one who was asleep and one who was wide awake. The white flakes and little shining stars formed a whirlwind and the silhouette disappeared into thin air leaving Musky's body presumably in a very deep sleep.

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