Mwende sat in the sandpit staring at the wind as it blew the trees from side to side when the wind got strong, she would scoop some sand in her little bucket and toss it over her head enjoying the whip of the sand. It tickled her; she giggled ecstatically.
The nanny, Susan, was seated not too far away from her on a grassy knoll reading a book. She would periodically lift her head from the book when Mwende’s laugh got extremely rapturous, it would make her laugh.
The wind calmed and Mwende got bored, she grabbed her tiny bucket and spade and placed them right by her nanny.
“Where do you want to go now Mwende?” Susan wondered. Mwende pointed at her friend Noni who was playing on the swing. Susan nodded and quickly whisked her picnic basket, masaai blanket and book and walked Mwende to her friend.
Before they got to the swings, Noni slid off the swings, palms out making a menacing face and growling. Susan paused and quickly grabbed Mwende’s hand and shoved her behind her. She gently held Noni and in a little voice asked the 5-year-old if she was OK.
Noni was a bit confused. She smiled and nodded and quickly grabbed Mwende by the arm and pointed toward the sand pit. Mwende had had her fill and needed some new excitement.
“Let’s go there.” Mwende insisted pointing toward the swings.
“They make me dizzy,” Noni stated, firmly thumping one foot on the ground and shaking her head. One of her hair bands fell off her head.
That sent the girls into laughter falling to the ground legs kicking toward the sky. Susan started to laugh too. The girls’ laughter ended abruptly, the sun on their face was blocked by a human-shaped darkness.
“Who are you?” Mwende pointed at the dark face?
“You are really big, you are taller than my mummy?” Noni stated.
“My daddy’s taller,” Mwende stated with a smile.”
The tall figure didn’t utter a word; Susan quickly rushed toward the girls leaving her baskets and Masaai blanket behind.
“Girls we…we….we….Lets gggg…,” Susan stuttered
“But I want to go on the swing…” Mwende said pointing at the swing as she was quickly whisked away by Susan toward the Park gate. The tall figure steadily walking behind them, Susan kept looking back trying to run as fast as she could with these two 5-year-olds whose steps could only propel them so far.
The tall man suddenly stopped and dropped down his trouser right in the middle of the park. Parents scrambled to hide their children’s faces and run them to safety. Only Susan had managed to get as far as possible saving the girls from the trauma. Two men tackled the man to the ground and covered him with one of the picnic blankets lying around the park while another man stood and called the police.
Ever since that day, City Park has never quite been the same, even though the man was charged for his offence, most parents in Runinga town prefer to have their children safe behind doors and not go further than the neighbourhood gates.