Anansi and the Smoke That Thunders [analysis]

“Sir?” Justinian addresses the man with the camera, standing by the huge water fall. “May I ask, please, what is the name of this river?”

Dingo Pingo stands with Anansi and Isabella who grips her blanket. The withered pineapple sits in Dingo Pingo’s pocket.

“Ah,” replies the visitor with the camera. “This is not simply a river. This is one of the wonders of the world. This is Mosi-ao-Tunya.”

“Mosi-ao-Tunya?” repeats Justinian.

“Yes, yes, this is the smoke that thunders,” the man declares proudly as he returns to his snaps.

“The smoke that thunders?” Justinian repeats to Dingo Pingo.

“Yes! Yes! The smoke that thunders!” Dingo Pingo is excited to recall his studies of African maps. “This is the Zambezi! This river curls through central Africa. We are at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe!”

“We are?” Justinian marvels at Dingo Pingo’s knowledge of Africa. “Yes! Of course, we are! Of course!” Justinian pauses. “How do we know this?”

“I read about the Victoria Falls in a book I found in the library,” Dingo Pingo reports excitedly. He is so excited that even Isabella and Anansi are attentive to him.

“When the Zambezi River reaches the gorge,” Dingo Pingo tells them, “the water plunges one hundred metres to the bottom. The impact creates mist like smoke and sounds like thunder.”

“The smoke that thunders! That’s how the name came!” Justinian is happy to understand.

“Victoria Falls, I mean, Mosi-ao-Tunya is the largest waterfall in the world. See that?” Dingo Pingo points to the sheet of flowing water. The mist and spray from the falls appears to be a rainforest.

“Rainbow! Look! Rainbow!” Isabella joyfully jumps toward colours arching across the sky.

Dingo Pingo gazes at the sky in amazement. “The things I have been reading in books are now here in my actual life!”

Source : The Observer

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