Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
The house was washed down, but it didn’t collapse completely. It had to be knocked
down to make way for the foundation.
The smashed mud walls would be reused as far as possible to reduce the people’s
Godzilla helped to break down the wall. The sledgehammers that the Africans had to
hold in both hands were like toys to him. He smashed the wall open, swinging one
hammer in each hand.
Li Du saw Brother Wolf looking around. He was going to ask what he saw when
Godzilla called out, “Hey, watch out, snake!”
Hearing his voice, Li Du looked around in surprise and said, “A snake came out of the
After Godzilla smashed open a section of the wall, a yellowish, brownish speckled form
appeared. It was about half a meter long, flat and wriggly.
Just as they saw it, several children hastened to snatch it.
“Damn, they are really a group of warriors!” Lu Guan said with admiration. “Should we
take snake catching training from these kids?”
Brother Wolf smiled and said, “This is not a snake. It’s an African lungfish.”
Sophie was surprised. “This is a lungfish? How could it be? It was in the wall.”
Li Du remembered something he had seen in a film, and said, “As far as I know, African
lungfish are amphibious. They can breathe with their lungs, which may be as long as
Brother Wolf nodded and said, “Yes, lungfish are unique. They can breathe with their
gills in the water, but they have a special bladder and lungs in their body so that they
can breathe air outside the water.”
Sophie was surprised. “But it was found in the wall. Don’t tell me it can live outside
water for years. It is impossible.”
Brother Wolf shrugged and said, “I don’t know, but when the dry season comes, the
ponds that the lungfish live in turn into puddles of mud. Then the lungfish dig a hole and
burrow in. Then, they release a mucus-like substance. The mucus can turn into
membrane-like protection for the lungfish.
“The mucus maintains a certain humidity and allows air to enter. At the same time, the
lungfish breaks up some of its muscle and fat into nutrients to survive, and the
metabolic rate is reduced to one-sixtieth of its active state. It hibernates over the
Buick, who was working, hurried over to have a look and smiled. “A fish that could be
good for a stew if it weren’t too small. I once saw someone find a one meter long fish in
Li Du remembered hearing something similar once, but he had thought it was fake
Now he had come across a real fish that could be trapped in dry soil for years!
Li Du overestimated the ability of lungfish to survive without water. Later, Buick told him
that the house was only a year and a half old. It looked so dilapidated because there
was too much soil and too little sand and rock, so the house was not strong and its life
span was short.
Even so, Li Du thought African lungfish were awesome. They could live out of water for
a year and a half without any nourishment. It was amazing enough.
He looked down at Little Flathead, who was holding a piece of wood under his feet and
poking around. He decided that both of these must be the most amazing animals in
It was the so-called “African chaos, the honey badger decides”. This was not just a
saying. Little Flathead was unbelievably amazing.
Little Flathead could move freely in the tribe, and no one dared to touch it. Even the
children knew it must not be provoked.
It’s not that the honey badger was lethal. but you couldn’t afford to mess with it. If you
did, it would chase after you until one of you is dead.
Because the honey badger had very little meat on its bones and liked to eat poisonous
snakes, people were afraid that it might have residual poison in its body, so they did not
dare to hunt it for food.
That was the reason why this species was not wiped out despite its bad temper.
The house was built very quickly. After they broke it down, they put the boards into the
ground and the soil and gravel over them.
After years of construction and use, there was little sand and stone around the Gibra
tribe, and there was nothing but mud to use for making the main body of the wall.
The house made in this way was not very strong, but at least it was some sort of
Listening to Buick’s gloomy discussions with some tribesmen, Brother Wolf pointed to
the plastic bottle on the floor and said, “Why don’t you use this?”
“What?” Buick looked puzzled.
Brother Wolf went to pick up a Coke bottle, filled it with mud, tightened the lid, put the
bottle into the wooden wall and said, “Isn’t this more useful than sand?”
After looking at the plastic bottle embedded in the wall with a stunned expression for a
few seconds, Buick gave a hard tap on his thigh and exclaimed, “This is really a
wonderful idea! Damn it, why didn’t we think of that?”
This opened up new ideas for them. The tribe communicated with the outside world
frequently. Every family had plastic bottles, which could be filled with mud and water
and used as the main body of the wall. It was much better than sand.
Even though they didn’t have enough bottles, plastic was cheap and light. They could
go to a junk shop and buy it, and for their tribe, it would be inexhaustible.
Li Du did not think plastic bottles could be so useful. He praised brother Wolf. Brother
Wolf smiled and said, “I did not think of it all by myself. During our course, we were
taught to use plastic bottles filled with sand as building blocks.”
Seeing this happy scene, Scotty, who had been watching coldly, snorted and said
contemptuously, “Useless little smart act.”
The young black man Charlie stuck his neck out and said, “Hey, why won’t you be smart
Scotty said proudly, “I need wisdom, not little tricks. The tribe houses are long overdue.
If only we had the money, we could build a house like in Johannesburg!”
Sophie shook her head and quipped, “That’s no good, handsome man. The foundation
of the house is made of soil. Once it rains, it will quickly become soft and its bearing
capacity will be poor. A big building might collapse even it does not rain.”
Scotty started. “Ha, you know so much, don’t you?”
Sophie shrugged and said, “I got a double Bachelor’s degree in college, and one of my
degrees was in architecture, so I do know a lot about it.”
Charlie shook his head at Scotty and smiled. “Wow, so you went to college? Scotty
never went to school, not even a day.”
Scotty shouted angrily, “Get out of here, Charlie!”
The combined strength of many people had good results. After half a day of hard work,
eight houses were built.
The next day was the celebration that Buick had mentioned. Li Du thought they were
planning to hold an activity again. As a result, Buick led the strong men in the tribe to
get ready for hunting.
They were going to hunt unusual prey. It was pythons!
After hearing this, Li Du did not know how to express his surprise. He asked, “So will
you catch and stew the pythons in honor of your celebration?”
Buick smiled and said, “No, not stew. You’ll find out.”
Pythons hid in underground burrows except for the time when they came out to hunt, so
catching them was difficult. Hunters of the Gibra tribe had to carefully search for traces
left on the ground and follow the trail to the pythons’ burrows.