Child Spacing

Life in Bulawayo ca. 1900

One man who lived in Chegutu, Zimbabwe, he heard people talking of family planning and they emphasised on child spacing.  He thought deeply about it and he realised since he had been married he had six children born one year after another. He still wanted a big family and he enjoyed his role as a father. One morning he woke up and told his wife that he was travelling to Bulawayo to see one of his best mates who he had not seen for ages. The wife battled with the idea and tried to dissuade her husband not to travel and this was going to be their first separation since they have been married for six years.

“Baba, baba” the wife cried bitterly as she held tightly her husband, “please don’t go, I love you and I won’t be able to copy up with the children alone,” she said as she blew her nose on her old white handkerchief. “No, no. I can’t stay here,” the husband said as he pulled his wife’s hands away and transfixed his huge eyes on his wife. “This journey is for your favour, darling. Since we have been married you are breeding children like mice. I don’t like that and I want to give you some rest,” the husband spoke with reassuring tone. I will travel to Bulawayo to do some child spacing. “If it is for some child spacing baba, I will let you go but just remember to write back. She affectionately kissed her husband and bade farewell.  The husband left for Bulawayo.

After nine months gone, the husband wrote his first letter to his wife in Chegutu. Upon receiving the letter, the wife danced with joy that her long gone husband had finally thought of her. With excitement burning in her she gathered all her six children around her and opened the letter so she could share the good news with the children. Carefully she pulled out the letter from the white envelope and smiled as her eyes lay upon her husband’s writing for the first time.

The wife began to read loudly: Dear first lady. Firstly, I would like to apologise that I have taken so long to write to you, darling. I hope this letter will find you well and our children. Secondly, this for you and our children, I would like to inform you that my journey for child spacing was successful as ever, here in Bulawayo. I am grateful to announce that a newly born bouncing baby boy has been added to our family. I am writing while the baby rest peacefully in his mother’s lap whilst my other hand strokes the head of my second beautiful African queen.

It was when she finished reading the wife realised what she had read. She tore the letter and cried bitterly. “To hell with child spacing,” she cursed and promising herself never wants to see this cheating man.

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