I feel tears in my eyes. She didn’t deserve to die. Not now, not ever and especially not that way (though one of my bros believes that way, she died like a hero she was).
I’ve known her for so long. She was a friend — loyal friend — and above all, she was family! I still remember that day she was brought home, almost a decade ago by my brother Chris from a neighboring village.
I’m talking about Polisi, our dog who died last week from snake poison after struggling with a black mamba, one of the many that are prevalent in my home area, for almost half an hour. Of course she wasn’t alone, like always on her side was Nigar, her mischievous son.
In the above photo Polisi just relaxing
Polisi and his son watching the action going on the table. Patiently waiting for their turn
In this picture, taken a little bit earlier, they were playing under the shade.
Here, it was back in 2013, a day before I left for Nairobi City. Not sure if I was pointing at the cumulus cloud or something else. Sorry you can’t see the dogs but they were there sitting beside me as I watched the clouds gather for an afternoon rain.
Before meeting her fate, Polisi and her son had followed my sister-in-law, my elder brother’s wife and her three children to the shamba down by the river — Sio. It was there that they had encountered the slithering black reptile while playing in the bushes, near mama’s two fish ponds, and like it was their custom, they saw it as a challenge. Without fear of the likely outcome, they attacked the serpent.
Mama went for the head, held it between her jaws in a tight clasp, leaving the tail to the son.
The snake struggled and struggled but they didn’t let go. My nephew Abram — just sat his KCPE exam together with his young sister, Anita — noticed the dogs struggling with something and rushed there only to find out it was a snake — a big black snake. He called out to his elder sister who came rushing, followed by Anita. But as soon as they saw it was a snake, retreated back to where their mother was, scared. No one likes snakes. I’m sure you don’t either, do you?
They, especially Abram, wanted to help the dogs but just didn’t know how. Dealing with a snake is always tricky. They could end up being bitten themselves by the venomous snake, or risk the dogs lives in case Polisi releases its (snake) head. So together with their shaken mom, they just stood there, at a distance and helplessly watched the unusual battle.
The dogs were brave, especially Polisi. Holding an angry mamba’s head in your mouth is no laughing matter. And they won! They killed the snake but by bad luck, the snake’s venom had found its way into Polisi’s mouth.
She didn’t last long. In a matter of minutes her lifeless body lied there in the farm, her son licking her face in an effort to try to wake her up. He wanted someone to celebrate with the victory. He tried biting her tail like he always did when spoiling for a fight but still his mama didn’t wake up. Not sure if he was aware she was dead. Now Nigar is orphaned, looking so lost. All the few years of his life he has spent with his mama and now she’s no more. Guess he will now be forced to grow up and learn to survive by himself.
Polisi was a great bitch. For so long I’ve always wanted to write about her, when she was still alive but kept forgetting, how unfortunate I’m writing about her when she’s already gone!
A few months back I was telling some of my friends about her, and how she doesn’t entertain nonsense from anyone, anything, perceived as an enemy — most victims were stray dogs and cats, and monkeys and any other intruder — and they didn’t believe me. They were arguing that dogs were always scared of cats. Seriously! Unless if you are talking about the Big Cats in the Masai Mara. But I can’t blame them, most of this guys are born and raised in cities where dogs are banned, hence know absolutely nothing about these beautiful creatures. I think they should watch Megan Leavey, that movie about a military dog and his handler.
Today morning, just before I finished writing this post I called one of them to let him know what had befallen that dog I had proudly told them about, and he sounded remorseful. Finally, believed the dog was a badass after all. He had to, I think. Which other dog have you heard of that fights a black mamba and kills it?
All in all, what’s done is done and now all I can do is celebrate her. Write about her in my little blog where I’m sure she will live forever, or so long as the internet lives.
Rest in peace Polisi, I will miss you. You were the best dog.
Wanted to share the images of the snake but thought against it, they were too graphical and I’m also aware that most people hate site of a snake. Didn’t want to upset anyone.