Page5 How I love my Ma-in-law



(The first two lines of a vaudeville song.)



When I accepted a supervisory job in a country in Central Africa it was only partly to get away from my mother-in-law. When she’d been widowed, several years earlier, her only assets had been her Social Security check and a few thousand in the bank and several treasured pieces of furniture and so she’d had no alternative but to give up her rented apartment and ask her only daughter, my wife, if she could come and live with us. I had to agree because she had no other place to go.

She wasn’t all that difficult or obtrusive and she always did a whole lot of work around the house and, with her being there, we had a built-in baby sitter and the kids loved her but – she was there. She was always there.

After she’d spent a few months with us I couldn’t take it any longer so I decided to get a ‘granny apartment’ built for her. I wanted it to be in the shape of an octagon – a friend of mine has one and I like it a lot – and located to the rear of our house. My idea was to make her completely independent of us and so I told the architect to include in his design all of the amenities and utilities to reach that goal and to give her a private front door, too. When my wife saw the plans she liked them well enough but she made me put in a connecting passage with two doors – between our living rooms – so as to let her know that she wasn’t isolated.

Because I’d given her a place to live in I figured that it would be no hardship for her to be alone for the year that we’d be away in South Africa because she was a capable woman and a good housekeeper.

I put our house up for rent for the year and made arrangements with our bank to transfer funds to pay our mortgage and to ‘cover’ any non-payments of monthly utility bills by the future tenants and to inform me if that happened and also if they were late with paying the rent. I’d blithely gone ahead with all of that without telling her about our plans to go abroad because I’d presumed that she wouldn’t want to come with us and have to rough it – the country I was going to was a somewhat backward one – and so the first time that she found out about it was in March when the kids were proudly showing her their band-aides that were protecting their inoculation punctures.

When she’d made us explain what was going on – we weren’t going until late June when the school year would be over – she blew up.

“No way am I going to be left on my own for all that time. I’m coming with you.”

“But, but – you’ve got your own apartment. You’ll be fine and it’s only for a year. Anyway, you can’t come. You – uh – you don’t have a passport for one thing and what about all the shots?”

“I’ll apply for a passport tomorrow and I’ll get all the shots that I’ll need from my doctor. I’m coming with you.”

So. Four months later I found myself having to rent a mansion of a house just outside the capitol city because, as she’d declared she would, she’d joined us as soon as she got her passport and so her presence meant that we had to have a place with four bedrooms.

The job itself proved to be easy because the equipment that we’d sold to the country over the years was all basic stuff and comparatively simple to set up and to modernize as necessary and it wasn’t difficult to train local technicians to do all of that by themselves and after two months of comparatively hard work my job became easier because I was able to delegate more and more of the work to them.

About eight months after we got there the civil unrest that had been brewing for years came to the boil and the unrest became decidedly un-civil.

We had to get out and soon.

I booked plane seats for us all and I stayed home everyday to protect my family, just in case, and on the afternoon of the day before we were due to depart all power was cut off to the entire city and we heard a whole lot of gunfire coming from the city center’s direction. Our Consul people sent word that the airport had been shut down and that there was a train leaving at seven o’clock that night and that we’d better be on it.

We packed just one bag each and got to the station in plenty of time but found that we should have been there hours earlier because there was a teeming crowd of would-be boarders on the platform.

When the train arrived the doors opened and by doing so triggered a stampede.

We immediately gave up on trying to take any of our luggage with us and my wife and I muscled our children on board and I made her stay with them while I went back for her mother who had been jostled aside by the crowd. Just as I got to her we heard the train’s steel doors slide closed and, in spite of a lot of thumping on them by frantic people along the whole length of the platform, they didn’t open again and a desperate half minute later the train pulled out and left hundreds of us to our fate.

I retrieved our bags – ordinarily they would have all been stolen two seconds after being left unattended but I suppose that the thieves were taking advantage of mob rule to profit more richly elsewhere – and I discarded most of their contents and filled the biggest one with essentials, which, at her insistence, meant most of what my mother-in-law’s bag had contained. My wife had our money and passports and credit cards and her good jewelry with her in her clutch bag.

I won’t detail the horrors of the next four days but they included: slogging our way back to our house only to find it had already been taken over by what seemed to be a half dozen families of squatters whose men-folk became not just abusive but also threatening; making our way to the Consul building and finding it to be ransacked; trying to sleep under bushes; eating food that we’d called garbage up to then – like soup made with the heads and backbones and feet of chickens or chunks of unidentifiable gray meat on coarse bread; and . . . well, I don’t want to list the rest because I’d have to bring them to mind to do so – but then, luckily, I met up by pure chance with one of the mechanics who had worked for me and he recognized our distress and knew the danger that all foreigners were in and he offered to take us – in his tiny, beat-up, pick-up truck until the paved road ended and then by foot, alas – to the village where he’d been born because he knew that we’d be safe there. He warned me that it was mud-hut primitive.

I could see no alternative, there was no alternative, and so I accepted his kind offer.

He hid his truck far in among bushes at the end of the road and then we started walking. It was a long haul and I was forced to, surreptitiously, discard many of the items from the bag that I was lugging.

After perhaps five discouraging hours we came to his village which wasn’t far from the bank of a small river. It consisted of about twenty huts that circled a clearing and there were a few more of them grouped behind and away.

Our mechanic had spoken correctly and literally – “Mud-hut primitive” was a true description and not just an off-hand generalization. Most of the huts had one big, round room with a lean-to and, hard to believe, the main room had a hole near the top of the thatched roof to let smoke out.

All of the guy’s relatives came to see him and they were all nice to us and it became obvious that they rarely saw white people because the young, and some of the not so young, kids couldn’t keep from staring at us in wonder. His uncle, the chief, agreed to put us up – that is, he let us sleep on the dirt floor of the main room in his hut and he let us eat from the communal pot – but his attitude from the next morning on made it plain that he didn’t want it to be a permanent arrangement.

Clearly, the first thing that I had to do was to build a hut for ourselves and on my first walkabout – I’d told Mill (I’ve always called her that, it’s derived from M-I-L, of course, because it lets me avoid having to call her by her name, which would be impossible for me, and from calling her ‘Mom’ or, even worse, ‘Mother,’) that I was “going to stretch my legs for a couple of hours” to discourage her from wanting to come with me and that was because I had to get away from the aura of dismay and distress that had hovered around her ever since we’d watched ‘our’ train pull out of the station – I came upon a ramshackle, abandoned, weather-worn, flat-timber-slatted hut that was well away from the village. I checked to see that the wood was salvageable and then I returned, post haste, to find the Chief and to ask permission to use its wood to build a hut.

Also, to borrow a few tools from him.

Besides the corner posts and a few beams for the roof there was only enough sound material for three walls, even then one of them would have to have an opening in it large enough for a garage door, so I pleaded to be allowed to build against the back wall of my ‘landlord’s’ hut.

When it was set up, a few days later, I thatched the roof with plenty of advice from him but not with any help in spite of the fact that I was ‘improving’ his property and even though, like all the men of the village, he seemed to have nothing to do all day except sit around smoking home grown tobacco and drinking vile beer.

I made two panels for the doorway, using stripped tree branches for the frames and then stabilizing them with cross sticks, and I fixed one in place permanently and then hung the other one on scraps of leather that served as hinges. I then wove fronds – I’d made Mill go and pull some of them down off nearby low-to-the-ground palm-like trees – into the cross-sticks. Then I made two cots in the same way and I sent her to get more fronds to make mattresses for them. The cots were uncomfortable but at least they kept us off the ground and above the “creepy-crawlies” as she called them.

I found a broken three-legged stool in a trash pile and I fixed it for Mill and then I made a kind of chair for myself out of flat rocks and broken plywood that worked out so well – aesthetically speaking – that it prompted me to make a little table out of the same material. Then I fashioned a central fire pit out of round stones.

Mill complained about not having enough to do so I made a broom – a copy of the ones that I saw the village women using – for her to sweep the floor with and she did that so often – as a form of busy work, I guess – that the floor took on a sheen after a few days. A whole lot of dust kept blowing in through the myriad little openings in the walls so I asked for advice again and then I plastered – stuccoed? – a mixture of cow dung and straw and mud over the outsides of them.

I’d seen, on my first night there, that there was an ancient bolt-action 303 rifle on a rack on the wall in my benefactor’s home but I hadn’t commented on it out of diffidence.

When harmony was restored between us, which was allowed to happen on the same day that we moved out of his home – I knew the feeling well – I mentioned seeing the rifle and he went in and got it and when I had it my hands I saw that it was in a far sorrier state than I’d thought and that woodworms were busy eating away at the hard, varnished, wooden stock although I would have thought that that was impossible.

The rifle wouldn’t work because of neglect rather than from missing parts and so, when my new house and furniture was finished and I had little else to do, I stripped it down and sanded away the rust and then lubricated all the moving parts with the palm oil that they use for cooking. When I’d reassembled it I tried it out and it seemed to be working properly but seeing that there was no ammunition for it I couldn’t be sure if it would do what it had been designed to do and so I figured that it would revert to being a ‘curio’ or an ‘adorno’ again albeit in better shape.

When I handed it back to its owner he, “Tsongo” was how he pronounced his name, was delighted with my efforts and he asked me to wait where I was and he soon came back from somewhere with an unopened box of fifty 303 bullets which he handed to me.

They’d been greased to preserve them but I wasn’t sure if they’d work seeing that they had to be very old.

I politely asked permission to try one of them and I got enthusiastic affirmative nods so I set up a can on a rock that was around a hundred feet away and then I came back and took my time to set my body properly in the prone position and to wrap the strap around my arm, as I’d been taught to do long before in the Army Reserve, and then I regulated my breathing and brought the sights to bear on the can and then squeezed the trigger.

The can flew away from the rock and everybody who was watching, that was the whole village because they all knew that something was happening when Tsongo had gone to unearth the bullets, cheered like mad.

That was the turning point for me and after that I didn’t get any resentful looks from Tsongo’s family members when I went to their hut to get our meals and I was often invited to join the men to drink a semi-vile concoction – a cross between beer and mead that you’d have to drink about a gallon of to get high – after the evening meal. At one of them I was invited to go on a hunt the next day.

None of the close-to-being-two-dimensional dogs were allowed to come with us because we were after large animals and, I was told, the dogs were noisy and only good for flushing small game.

We walked many long, hot miles through scrub forest before we got to a place on the bank of another river, much bigger than ‘ours,’ that, I presumed, was a popular watering spot for assorted animals. We approached slowly and silently and were rewarded by seeing two wildebeest bucks (?) fighting for stud rights to the half dozen does (?) who were grazing unconcernedly near the far tree line. None of my companions knew, or cared, why the group of them had split away from the main herd.

I knew that that the two males had been going at it for some time because they were both bleeding from several superficial wounds and it came to me, for some reason, that the thing to do was to take down the biggest one first.

Tsongo whispered to me that I should try for a heart shot because if better times ever came back they’d be able to sell the suitably mounted head to tourists.

I set myself up and with my first shot the bigger buck dropped in its tracks and, just as I’d intuited but hadn’t been smart enough to figure out why, the other one had been so engrossed in battle that it didn’t relate the noise of the shot to its fallen antagonist – the does sure did and they scattered in seconds – and it charged the prone body with its head lowered and ready to hook into it with one of its horns. That gave me time to work the bolt and fire again and the ‘victorious’ buck stood still for a few seconds and then bunched its rear legs as if it was about to leap away and then it fell on its side to the grass.

There was a whole lot of cheering and backslapping and then they built a fire and roasted the two hearts and the livers and kidneys to build up strength enough to transport the carcasses back home. When we’d all eaten I expected them to do some serious butchering on the spot to get rid of the intestines and the hooves, and like that, and then cut up the body so as to split-up the carrying chore but not so. They made two dragging-sleds from tree branches and we combined efforts to transport both animals all the way back to the village. I found out later that they use every part of everything that they catch and that their women always want to take part in the dissections because they know best which sinews are usable and which small bones are useful, and so on.

Even the dogs had their fill that night and the stew was delicious for once because the women had lots of fresh meat to work with and had added root vegetables for bulk and herbs for flavor.

Mill and I went to our beds with full stomachs and, although she didn’t go as far as to let her face muscles relax, I sensed a distinct lessening of despondency in her demeanor and we talked quite civilly for the first time for – well – for ever, maybe.



When my son-in-law, Brad, brought our dish full of food into the hut on the day of his spectacularly successful hunt the smell alone nearly sent me into raptures because we hadn’t eaten much of anything for the best part of three days by then.

There was more than enough for us two and so we had some left over and we worried about how to best protect it from insects and the like because we’d never had that problem up until then. As usual, clever Brad came up with a solution which was to suspend the dish, covered with an undershirt of his, from the ceiling – uh, that is – from the roof, I guess.

It was pleasant to have to cope with a full stomach again and neither of us could go to sleep for an hour or so and we ignored the rumbles coming from our protesting and hard working insides and talked about my daughter and my grandchildren and their possible fate. I got to be quite overcome and so, for the first time in many years, I prayed aloud for their present well being but instead of saying “Amen” afterwards he said “Yeah, God. What she said.” which was a bit of a damper and from then on I did my praying silently.

Early the next morning I was woken up by strange sounds that, at first, I couldn’t identify. It was pitch black still and so my hearing was the only sense that was available to me but I soon realized that Brad was in the final stages of – uh – relieving himself with his hand and because he was close to finishing he’d lost all control and all inhibitions and was working so single mindedly to get it done that his cot, which was only a few feet from mine, was moving and scraping and creaking and generally complaining about being abused, as it were.

When he let out a muffled shout of accomplishment the unmistakable stink of semen confirmed that the deed was done and he collapsed into stillness and a little while later I heard him sit up to wipe himself with something and then he fell back and there was silence until his sleep-regulated breathing started in.

I wasn’t all that shocked by his action because where I was brought up it was common practice for an engaged girl to cool her fiancé down when things had gotten steamy in the back of his father’s car by – uh, how shall I say? – by kindly manipulating his member until it – uh – erupted. Also, we were brought up to believe that women are unclean – can you believe it? – when they’re menstruating and that they’re untouchable in the last three months of pregnancy, so, knowing all that, how else could the wife see to it that her husband wasn’t driven by brute nature to look for relief outside the home?

The next day I didn’t mention what I’d heard him do and we ate a whole lot of meat that day too and so, sure enough, there was a repeat performance that night when he thought that I’d gone to sleep.

By then I felt compassion for him, seeing that he was young and was understandably feeling his oats, and was separated from his wife an’ all, so, because I was feeling obligated to him, I decided that, seeing that I was a woman and was sleeping next to him every night, that the least that I could for him – knowing full well that allowing a man, any man and especially not my daughter’s husband, to penetrate me was out of the question seeing that I’ve long accepted the fact that I’m a one-man woman and that that one-man is long dead – the least that I could do for him was to offer the services of my once expert hand as long as it was too dark for either of us to see the other one’s face. Further to that, I knew very well that grown men strongly dislike having to do it themselves so that strengthened my resolve. Besides that, those were trying times and collecting firewood and sweeping the ten by ten floor twenty times a day and collecting fresh fronds for our two beds when the old ones had gone brown and smelly didn’t seem to add up as regards to being an equal effort on my part. I figured that I was at least partially responsible for the finding of an effective, and this seemed to me to be the least distasteful, solution to our primitive predicament especially seeing that it was impossible to know how long our ‘visit’ might last.

So, after the evening meal the next day, when the fire that we built at night, mainly to boil water to make herb tea with but also for its comforting light, was down to flickering embers I told him what I’d heard the last two nights and I demurely offered to “give you a helping hand now and again” if he’d agree to wait until it got to be completely dark every time and if he promised to never, ever, speak of it in the future.

He was astounded, and struck dumb, and I began to fear that I’d crossed a line and that he couldn’t bring himself to do likewise but it soon became obvious that, when he’d gotten over his shame at allowing me to hear him going at it, he was thankful for my offer and he mumbled something to that effect and how he “hated having to act like a schoolboy” and then – impetuous when it comes to all things related to sex, like all men – to hasten the coming of “complete darkness” he used a pan to scoop up the embers of the fire and he took them outside and dropped them on the ground and then kicked dirt over them.

He came back in and he sat next to me on my bed and I heard him ease his zipper down and then he leaned back and said, diffidently, “There. Please?”

I should have known what was going to happen next seeing that neither of us were teenagers anymore nor was he obligated to play by the rules that had governed my fiancé’s conduct back then in the back seat of his car.

About five seconds after I’d found and had settled into the rhythm that I saw was suiting him best his blood took over and overwhelmed his brain. Evidently it had made his body aware that the owner of the hand that was – uh – pleasuring him was also the owner of a real, live, presumably viable, vagina and so a higher power got him to push my hand away and grab at my arm, so hard that it made it very evident to me that I’d better go along, and he used it to intimate that I was to lie down on the floor. I was not very happy with the turn of events but I immediately recognized that the strength of the force involved was ineluctable and I combined that fact with knowing that given my age and experience I should be able to take what was physically coming at me in my stride and that I could deal with the mental aspect afterwards and so I thought it best to meekly comply and, strangely, I remember staying calm and clear headed enough to think that his picking the floor to do it on was fortunate for me because the uneven and poky mattress would probably injure my back and my thighs seeing that his weight would be full on me.

As soon as I was horizontal and settled he lifted my dress up out of his way and then scrabbled my panties down and away and then he mounted me and drove at me just as fast as he could move his hips.

I hadn’t been used for so long – more than five years – that he made my insides sore but that eased off when he’d finished and had begun to shrink which allowed some of his fluids to back up and soothe the area.

He stayed where he was for several minutes and when he got his control, and his breath, back he took his upper body weight onto his elbows obviously knowing from experience that the woman underneath him would be having difficulty coping with having to supporting him. I was happy about that and also to hear him mumbling apologizes.

A bit later, when he’d still made no move to pull out and get off me, I guessed that he was maintaining his position of dominance as a defensive move in that I’d be unlikely to remonstrate until he’d ‘released’ me and, by putting space between us, made me his equal again.

I was angry, of course, because what he’d done was, loosely, rape but it wasn’t long before guilt showed up and made me realize that it was really my fault for offering to help him in the first place and so, in an effort to make up with him – he was, after all, not just my kin but the extraordinary circumstances that we were in had made him my companion and provider and sole protector too – I assessed the current situation and the sensors on my belly and thighs and shins told me that he’d pushed his pants and his underpants down to his knees and so I reached down and around and I moved his shirt tail up and out of the way and then I smoothed his bottom for a while and then, so that there could be no mistaking my state of mind, I pulled at it with both hands for a second or two to draw him closer which showed him, decisively, that I’d already come to terms with what had happened.

That was my second big mistake.

As soon as he knew that he was forgiven, by no less a person than his erstwhile dreaded Mother-In-Law, he took on a macho role and, again typically, from that second on he figured that seeing that he’d already used me, and had clearly been forgiven for using brute force to get it done, it followed that my body was, from then on, his to use as he wanted whenever he wanted. With a sinking heart I knew that, in our present isolated circumstances, I’d have to not only go along with that but that I’d also have to put on a ‘little woman’ act and pretend to want it as much as he did every time and, icing his cake, to try to please him when he was going at it, too.

Fully sure of himself but wanting to cement ‘our’ new agreement in place, he got up and told me to get completely undressed, as did he, and, because he’s twice as heavy as I am, he decided that the best position for us to take up while ‘we’ were waiting for him to get the wherewithal together to enter me again was for me to lie full on him and he made that happen.

He checked out my bottom, tentatively, and when he found that it is nice and firm – that’s where all my unwanted weight had accumulated over the years but our poor diet in the village, and in the horrible week or so before we got there, meant that my body had had to draw fat from my reserves and, Hallelujah! that’s the place that it had picked first – he grunted approval and then he checked out all of me that he could reach.

When his next erection showed up he got me to sit up onto his belly and then lift up to let him locate his penis properly and then slide down and encompass it and he grunted once again when he found that I knew what to do from then on.

After I’d been going at it for a few minutes he made me stop because his searching hands had found out that my breasts are still pert and that my belly is soft, and swells just the right amount, and he’d been even more delighted when he found that like my daughter, or so he thought, I was following the advice that we’d read in a medical pamphlet before we’d left home, which was to use depilatory cream on our pubic hair to discourage fleas and ticks and other nasty creatures from finding a home and to help beat the heat and avoid getting rashes.

When he indicated that I was to start moving again he dictated the speed of the ups and downs and ins and outs and he settled for a very slow pace indeed because he was enjoying the fact of my tightness and that meant that it took quite a while to get it done and, still well lubricated and fully in control that time, I was able to see to it that it got to be pleasant for me too although I tried to not let him know it because I figured that if he became aware of that it would give him license to be even more macho in future.

When he’d ejaculated, and had stopped crowing in triumph, he pushed at my knees and then pulled me down onto him and he smoothed my bottom some more and pulled at it spasmodically as he wallowed in contentment. When he let me dismount I went to my own bed and, I have to admit it, I slept like a baby until he woke me up at dawn, for more sex, by crudely groping me.

When we’d eaten our breakfasts in Tsongo’s hut Brad went off somewhere and I collected firewood for both of our huts and then I did some more sweeping. At noon Brad brought food for us both, as usual it was stew – in fact, that was the only kind of food that we ever ate all the time that we were in that village, except for breakfast which was always pieces of boiled root vegetables with a few drops of oil on them, and occasionally, roasted goat meat when the villagers had something to celebrate, and sure, sometimes there’d be different kinds of meat and different vegetables in there but it was stew all the same – and we used our spoons to eat from the shared dish and, when it was empty, he put it down and then, because he could, he squeezed one of my breasts to alert to me to my coming duty, which, of course, could begin only after I’d gotten undressed.

Seeing that the sun was nearly directly overhead, and, of course, was lighting up the whole hut through various cracks and through the gaps around the door frames, he could check out my body visually for the first time and, as I knew he would, when he saw my center he said, “Glory be, woman! You’ve got the nicest pussy that I ever did see.”

When I got to be around eleven years old I knew that what I had between my legs was ‘distinctive.’ At that age the other girls were too shy to comment on it when we were showering after Gym class, or the like, but I’d see them trying to appear casual as they changed position to get a better view of it. In high school nearly every time that we’d had to undress for some reason one or another of my friends would ask me if she could take a look at it up close and the others would then take the opportunity to gather around and not because they were ‘that way’ inclined but because, by then, it had grown from being distinctive to being out and out distinctively attractive.

It’s quite large overall and perfectly symmetrical and my outer labia are wide and they’re so plump that there’s only a thin, straight line separating them and thus my ugly, raw and seemingly unfinished, inner labia are completely hidden. Also, the gap between my inner thighs is wide enough to not crowd in on my center even when my feet are together so it kind of presents itself ‘in full dress’ at all times. My belly and my upper thighs have always been – uh – a little ‘full’ one could say, I prefer the word ‘comely,’ and so they frame and enhance the general effect which is, although I say it myself, even closer to epitomizing the allure of WOMAN than is Picasso’s celebrated five line drawing.

I’m proud of it and even when I was a celibate widow I kept on applying depilatory cream and I have to admit that to this day I often arrange a mirror just so and then pose on my bed so that I can see the image of my body from my breasts to my mid-thighs and I do that because of its beauty and also because it’s a sure way to let me return in my mind to the times when my husband was alive and often asked me to take up and hold this, his favorite pose.

He, my husband Edward, was the first man to see it, and, until I had to let Brad ‘come to my bed,’ the only one.

Almost exactly similar to what happened with Brad, Edward didn’t get a good look at my naked body until the sun had come up on the first morning of our honeymoon. We’d been getting well acquainted all night long in bed, of course, but he never got to see my center until natural light entered the room.

When I ‘allowed’ him to view it properly he used a nasty four-letter word for the first and only time that we were together – better than thirty years – and what came out of his mouth was, “Holy Mother of God! I’ve married the woman who’s got the nicest cunt that ever there was.”

My daughter inherited the same thing from me – along with another attribute of mine that I’ll be describing soon – but due to an incident that is too troubling to recall she negated both of them when she was only sixteen years old, which is why Brad, who’d married her, hadn’t seen one like mine before.

As I said, he was delighted with it and instantly got to be as proud of it as I am. He loved the fact of it being there for him and couldn’t bear to be parted from it for long. From then on I wasn’t allowed to wear panties ever – like, incidentally, all of the women in the village but in their case it was because they didn’t own any nor, come to that, did they have any bras – and he spent a lot of time communing with “our perfect pussy” – or “Glory-be” as he sometimes referred to it – but always, of course, for his own pleasure. After being parted from it for any length of time he’d “ooooh” and “aaaah” over it for minutes on end, between giving it kisses, and then he’d dine royally until he had to break off, “Reluctantly,” – he’d say – “because it can’t be right to soil such perfection with my nasty dick but I have to now.”

He wanted to do it every morning and again at noon and again when it got cool after the sun had gone down – after which he’d go off to drink what he always told me was “disgusting local-brewed beer” but, nevertheless, he rarely failed to go searching for more of it – and yet again before we went to sleep.

That kind of virility is all very well on a honeymoon, or the like, but not for a – well – not for a woman of my age and so, astonished at having to revert to something that I’d long thought I’d left behind, I knew that I’d have to reveal a fundamentally-male-pleasure-enhancing-flaw of mine that I’d had two minds about ever letting him ‘discover’ for himself.

I hesitated for several days before introducing him to it and the incident that triggered me to act came one afternoon when he’d just come back from a successful hunt and he wanted to tell me about it. As he started in on describing it he unzipped his jeans and showed me that he was sporting a budding erection and had the temerity – no, perhaps a better phrase is ‘the unmitigated gall’ – to think that just showing it to me was enough to get me to take my dress off and then lie down for him.

Lamentably, he was right, of course, but what made me extra mad that time was the fact that he kept on with his story as he was undressing and as he was kissing “Glory-be” and as he was hovering over me and waiting to be guided home and he even continued with it after he’d entered me all the way and had begun to pound away at me.

The episode, as it was ongoing, reminded me of a scene from a film in which Lawrence Olivier was playing the part of a general in the Greek (Roman? Whatever.) army and he was discussing war strategy with a lieutenant of his, I think Tony Curtis played that part, when a slave girl came into the tent, for some reason. The general indicated to her that she was to bend over the desk and then he lifted her tunic and entered her from behind and all the time that he was using her he kept explaining his strategy for the coming battle. He paused for around five seconds when he came and then he jerked at her fiercely once or twice and then pulled out and went back to the map on the table to check some logistics. The girl adjusted her clothes and then approached the general and we expected that he’d give her a coin or a caress or a smile, something, but what she got was a slap in the face.

Brad’s story was about the huge warthog that they’d brought home – incidentally, he didn’t know that that was the animal’s name until he got back home and could Google it because, after he’d killed it he’d asked what its name was in those parts and all he got was evasions and he came to realize that for them it was called either ‘meat’ or ‘animal’ and that sufficed – anyway, it turned out that they’d trailed the warthog for hours until it had doubled back on them in the brush and had rushed at them in fury but it had lost its courage in the face of their concerted shouts and spear brandishing and had swerved away. It was moving so quickly towards cover that they handed the rifle to Brad because he was by far the best shot. He saw that he only had one thing to aim at so he shot it in the anus and the bullet made the animal somersault forwards and then lay still.

When they’d made sure that it wasn’t going to get up and run away again they built a fire on the spot, they were all very hungry for meat, and they roasted some of the warthog’s organs.

From the way that Brad was building up his story I knew that there was going to be a punch line and, sure enough, he chuckled as he was closing in on it but then nature interrupted him with an urgent message and so he stopped talking to concentrate on transferring some of his fluids into my care.

When he’d wallowed for a while, and had finally realized that he couldn’t get any more pleasure out of me from intermittent thrusting, he started on the punch line again – I didn’t see where the humor part came in but it had to do with the fact that when one of the men had cut out the animal’s tongue, to roast it, his knife had grated on something metallic and he’d searched around with his fingers and had pulled out of its throat the bullet that had killed it – and the part about finding the bullet came after Brad had pulled out of me and was milking his slack penis with two fingers just before wiping the end of it on my belly.

That did it for me – I mean about having to take the role of a meek and willing recipient – and that night, when he wanted me again, I laid myself down for him and uncovered and let him get at my breasts but I kept my legs crossed and when he noticed that he cursed at me because he liked to segue smoothly into doing some communing down there but I stayed as I was and that made him ask what was going on and then to listen to what I wanted to say. Besides wanting to cut down on the number of times that I was expected to lie down for him I badly needed to restore my value in his eyes and get some respect back and so I told him about my internal secret that only one man in the world, up to then, had ever found out about.

If a man enters me after getting me properly excited – and not otherwise – his member gets to feel something deep inside me that excites it so much that he stops moving to keep on experiencing it because it gives him exquisite pleasure that is very different from the pleasure he could get for himself by continuing to work his hips to generate friction.

My husband found out about it for himself – and for me at the same time! – about two months after we got married when we were experimenting with, and finding out about, alternative ways to have sex and one night, after he’d found that he liked going down on me and was following some of my requests/suggestions/orders as to what I thought I needed him to do to give me maximum pleasure, he got me really hot before he mounted me. I was urging him on to pound at me harder when, to my dismay, he stopped all together and stayed still. He began to shout out, “Oh, yes. Yes. Yes.” and then I felt him ejaculate into me and I noted that his cries of ecstasy were very different from the norm and I also realized, vividly, that soon after he came it triggered me into having an orgasm of my own.

Neither of us knew what had happened but he wanted to experience the phenomenon again – and often – and we eventually worked out the correct way to make IT, as we always referred to it from then on, happen every time that he wanted. Which, it turned out, was whenever he could.

The requisite requirements were that I had to be in a writhing, hip-heaving state myself before he entered me and when he got to be all the way in – I do mean all the way in, pubic bone hard up against pubic bone – something inside me latched onto the head of his penis and pulled at it and stimulated it and, if he kept straining to stay all the way in, it inveigled him into ejaculating both vigorously and ecstatically.

In time we learned that we could exploit the phenomenon at will simply by getting IT to begin and then he’d ease out a little and after a short rest he’d be able to make IT start again or he could opt to get an orgasm for himself in the conventional way by doing some humping. He got nary a complaint from me either way because I was getting a whole lot of intense loving beforehand every time – otherwise, as I’ve said, IT wouldn’t happen for him – and so I always came just after he did no matter which option he’d decided on.

It was years before I got a technical explanation and it came when I went in for a routine examination when I was six months pregnant. After my Gynecologist, and her assistant, had, yet again, commented on how unusually attractive my “sex organ” was, I waited until after her examination, when we were alone, and then I told her about the phenomenon and she was very interested, as you’d imagine. She asked me a lot of related questions and then she used an instrument to examine me again, that time even further up into my vagina, and then went away after telling me to get dressed. When she came back to the room she said that she’d looked it up in a text book and had found that my condition is rare but not all that rare and it happens because the angle between my vagina and my uterus is not normal for some reason and so when I’m close to having an orgasm the mouth of my uterus starts convulsing, as is common for most women, to be ready to dip into the semen when it’s delivered so as to aid it along and in and up, and it comes in contact with the head of the fully inserted male member and the resulting stimulation is so exciting for the owner of it that it eventually triggers an ejaculation, as I well knew.

She told me that I should urge my husband to enjoy it while it lasted because after I gave birth it would stop happening because my baby’s head, on its way down the birth canal, would straighten out the errant angle in question.

Well, for a completely unrelated reason – it turned out that my daughter liked being in my womb so much that she didn’t want to come out – I was forced to have a caesarian and because of that my odd angle stayed the way it was and, because she turned out to be an only child, it is still that way.

I didn’t tell Brad this next part but my daughter inherited that internal trait from me, and a ‘perfect pussy’ too, but – well, I know that I said earlier that I wouldn’t tell some things but I’ve since decided that I might as well write it all down seeing that I’ve already described many other, really intimate, details of my life – when she was fifteen she opted to learn Greek, of all things, and, as you’d expect, she was the only one so inclined and that meant that she was given one-on-one tuition in a small classroom.

Well, she fell fully and completely in love with her married tutor and, in an effort to get him to reciprocate or to at least take her virginity, even in the face of his outright rejection of her blatant offer to give herself to him – “Miss Waters, there are strict boundaries regarding this sort of thing. Please don’t ever repeat what you just said or I’ll see to it that you and I are never again alone in the same room.” – she decided to resort to using everything that she had to seduce him. She knew, from activity in the back seat of cars, that just a glimpse of her center drove boys wild and she was pretty sure that that would apply to grown men too so, a few minutes into her third class with him, she asked for permission to take a bathroom break and she took her panties off in the stall and put them in her pocket and when she got back to the small study room she paused outside the door to pull up her mini-skirt – she anchored it there with her belt – to make it into a mini-mini-skirt and, once inside and sitting down facing him, she ‘inadvertently’ let him get to gaze at her Glory-be and that was all that it took.

Mesmerized and with his eyes locked on he came and knelt in front of her to get a better view and then, completely overwhelmed by its drawing power, he reached to touch it and when he found that it wasn’t an apparition he got himself an erection the like of which he’d never before experienced in his forty-seven years. He had no option as to whether or not he was going to bury it in her but he had just enough sense and control to first go over to lock the door and to pull the blind down on the window that looked out onto a corridor. When he turned back he saw that she was already lying on a strip of carpet and was exposing herself fully and, when he remembered how to walk, he did so and got down next to her and when he’d pulled his pants down and was on the brink of mounting her he remembered that he didn’t have a condom with him and he told her that he’d have to go and buy some but she wanted him there and then and so she wouldn’t let him leave – she easily persuaded him to stay by reaching for one of his hands and placing it strategically – and so, ‘forced’ to go ahead with it, he tried to assure himself that he could use the withdrawal method that he’d used successfully with his wife for years before the pill became generally available.

She was already hot simply from being kissed and touched by her idol and got to be even more so as he was endeavoring to get all the way into her and when he’d succeeded IT happened to him and, locked in wonder and made helpless, he flooded her.

He was both devastated and deeply ashamed but he was also so infatuated with what she had and what she could do for him that he kept wanting to do it even after she’d told him, months later, that she was pregnant – she also told him at the same time, categorically, that it wasn’t in her make-up to even think of ‘getting rid if it’ – and he went so far as to take her to a motel ‘to do it one last time’ after finding out that the next day would mark the end of his career as a teacher and would be one of a dwindling few more of them before he’d find himself teaching basic Math and English to fellow inmates and, he didn’t doubt, being taught other things by them.

Inevitably, she couldn’t hide her condition from me for long and, although I strongly urged her to get an abortion, she insisted on carrying the baby to term and then she – rightly in my eyes although that time I was careful not to comment because she was really headstrong in her teens – she found a nice couple who wanted to adopt it and that way she was able to get on with her life just as happened in that nice film that came out a while ago.

By giving birth she cheated her eventual husband, Brad, out of having a ‘perfect pussy’ of his ‘own’ to enjoy, as I‘ve already mentioned, and she also cheated him out of experiencing the internal delight that I’ve described because, sure enough and as promised, the baby’s head straightened out her odd angle and then went on to rip the symmetry from her center by tearing the entrance/exit of her vagina, which had to be stitched, and then, by pushing her inner labia into view and over-straining her outer ones she was left with one that was somewhat less than perfect. It was ‘nice’ but ordinary and, luckily for women around the world, every one of them is ‘nice’ as every man on the face of the earth will be quick to confirm.

When I stopped talking – leaving out all references to my daughter, of course – Brad couldn’t believe any of it but he sure wanted to find out for himself so he spent a lot of time getting me ready – for which I was grateful because he’d been mostly brutal and selfish with me up to then –and when my groans, and my heaving hips, told him that I was ready he entered me and when IT was happening for him he cried out so loudly that the whole village must have heard.

When we’d both recovered we slept like babies in our separate beds and the next day he discovered what the only known drawback of getting IT to happen is. Doing it takes so much out of the guy, due to being satiated combined with getting truly drained, that he only wants – well, ‘he can only have’ is a better way to put it – sex once a day.

That made my life much easier, of course, and – how rare is this? – it guaranteed that I got almost as many orgasms as he did. The extra ones for him came because, as far as I know, there is no known method that a woman can practice to avoid having to accommodate a slam-bam erection that was strong enough to wake the man who is with her from deep sleep and who then, whining with urgency, brings it at her single-mindedly and inexorably.

For several days following the wildebeest hunt we saw some of the women of the village gather in the center square where they made two circles and chewed at the hides of the two animals and it wasn’t until they presented us with the splendidly softened pelts that we found out that not only the skulls, with their horns – that we already had in our hut – but the hides too go to the hunter who’d killed the animal, or animals.

Having the now luxurious hides gave Brad a motive, and the necessary materials to carry it out, and so he pulled apart the two cots that he’d made for us and he made up one wide bed by adding and interlocking sticks to the base. We replaced the fronds and we put one of our hides on top of them and we used the other one for a blanket and from then on we slept naked in the spoon position and even though it got cold outside at night we were always toasty warm.

It was amazing to me how quickly I got to accept my newly acquired role as his woman and, after I’d introduced him to IT, we got to be much nicer to each other. That came about, for him, mainly because he knew that I was giving him the best sex that he’d ever had and, on my part, I couldn’t help liking him for being the man who was giving me a truly satisfying orgasm every night. I also liked being wrapped up in his arms at night because some of the noises that told of wild creatures ‘abroad in the night’ on the other side of our flimsy walls were really scary.

Although Brad ‘the great white hunter’ was, by that time, close to being revered by all of the villagers they continued to be puzzled by his choice of a bed partner because they knew from my gray hair – after two months there two or three inches of the gray had grown out and I carefully avoided looking in any reflecting surface because I knew that it had to look bizarre – and from my lined face that I was an old woman by their standards and should be teaching young people about what herbs went with what meats and how to extract sinews from different kinds of dead animals, and the like, and to collect roots and berries and fruit instead of giving so much pleasure at night to Brad that he didn’t want to bed any of the village women. We knew that they knew what was going on in our hut every night because, try as we might, we couldn’t stifle our groans and gasps and cries of joy and after one particularly exuberant night, when we left our hut to get breakfast, the adults gave us knowing looks and all day long the kids imitated, often very well indeed, the noises that we’d made.

All of the fathers were very protective of their young daughters but the other women were allowed to come onto Brad – which they did, brazenly, even when I was with him – but I didn’t much mind that because it soon became obvious that even the semi-cute ones with pert breasts and flat bellies and nice bottoms didn’t do anything for him. When I queried him on it he told me crudely, and a little disconcertingly and only somewhat flatteringly, that he’d “rather fuck you once a month than have my pick of all of the women in the village every night.”

I eventually managed to worm out of him the fact that he’d inadvertently touched a woman’s upper arm, when he’d first arrived in the village, and it had felt to him to be just like touching the bald haunches of an old horse that he’d been allowed to ride as a kid that had rubbed the hair off them against fence posts. It wasn’t a nice comparison at all but at least it was truthful and it made me understand his anathema very well and, although I suppose it was inexcusable of me, I was grateful for knowing for sure that he’d never abandon me even for the most desirable woman in the entire village.

One day, Brad was invited to witness a clitorectomy and was told that it was going to be followed – it turned out that they often did the two things together because the ‘operating theater’ would be already set up for one of them and so, how not? – by a ‘reverse’ one and we couldn’t guess what that meant. I was allowed to go along even though my status was lowly.

It was done outside in the open at high noon because, we presumed, the surgeons in question – old women, all – need good light.

The girl, who was first on the schedule, couldn’t have been more than five years old.

A sun-wrinkled crone, with no teeth in her mouth and whose breasts were ugly flaps of skin, wielded the knife and although I was, of course, appalled at the whole thing I was also relieved when I saw that they only cut off her tiny clitoris before sewing her labia up. I remembered reading somewhere that some tribes cut a whole lot more.

Before they got on with sewing her up another old woman took the wound into her mouth – whether it was her turn or she wanted to or someone had to, we never found out – and she kept doing that until, presumably, the bleeding stopped. The child tried mightily to be brave but failed when the sewing started and the other woman and yet another ‘consultant’ were called on to hold her upper body down and to keep her hips still and her legs wide open until all six stitches were in place.

When she’d been carried off – by her mother, I guessed, although she looked far too unconcerned – a young woman who was also way too young in my opinion, and, as confirmation of that, we were told she’d had her first period just two weeks before, was helped up onto the table. We were further told that she’d been given a suitable dowry – four cows and six goats and a silver amulet – and that the three strangers present were the bridegroom’s father and an uncle of his and an elder from their village who had come to witness and then, if satisfied that she was a virgin still, would release her dowry and then take her away with them an hour or so after the celebratory meal that always followed a ‘reverse operation.’

The same two assistants held the soon-to-be-a-woman’s legs far apart and Doctor Crone used the same knife to sever the middle of the six stitches that were binding her. When that was done she called more of her team in to hold all of the parts of the patient’s body down and then she pulled each thread out slowly but with continuous force as they all let out incantations. Six times the soon-to-be-a-bride cried out and when it was over one of her arms was let free so that she could reach down to comfort herself with it. She was given a few minutes to pull herself together and then that hand was forced away again and pinioned and then Doctor Crone parted her labia – more screams – and the three distinguished visitors were invited to come close to see that her hymen was intact.

It was primitive stuff for us but not so for the other onlookers and they all nodded emphatically and clapped and called out something when the nods and smiles of affirmation by the visitors told them that it was a done deal. Because they all approved of what had just happened that helped us to accept what we’d seen a little more because it clearly pointed out that both of the ‘operations’ were a part of their cultural heritage and an integral part of their lives and not having them done at the appropriate times would be unthinkable for the girls.

A large goat had been killed in honor of the bride and it had been roasting, and had been making everybody’s mouth water, for hours by then and when both ceremonies were over everybody gathered around and were handed a plate of food that had been provided by the bride’s family.

A dish of meat and vegetables was brought to Brad and I expected that we’d sit where we were and eat it and then stick around to observe the rest of the activities but he had an entirely different idea.

The second that we’d eaten all that was in the dish, and we could politely leave for a while, he pulled at my arm and took me to our hut and although I’d noticed that he was walking strangely I didn’t know why until he responded to something I said in a tone of voice that was very familiar and got me to realize that what we’d seen had made him as horny as a jackrabbit. When we got inside he pulled his cut-down jeans off and I saw that he was as hard as I’d ever seen him to be and that the head of it was a frightening shade of angry dark-blue – rather than its usual, anxiety-provoking still but not quite as much, polished-purple – and looked to be close to bursting. I don’t think that there’s a woman in the world who’d so much as think about refusing to give comfort and relief to her man if she saw him in that state.

He didn’t want any finesse, he simply wanted to get off in the shortest possible time, and I didn’t get a bit of pleasure out of it that time nor the next time that he needed me after we’d returned to the festivities, for diplomacy’s sake, and the bride-to-be had come out of her family’s hut, walking gingerly, and had joined the crowds in the center – under the direct scrutiny of her escort at all times – and after greeting all of the others she came over and sat next to us and ate stew from the chief’s best bowl. Brad managed to stay still until she’d emptied the bowl but then it was, “Excuse us for a few minutes, please. There’s something urgent that we have to take care of right this minute.” and he grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet and then hurried me to our hut where he gave me another severe pounding.

It was difficult for me to believe but the same thing happened again when we were all waving goodbye to the betrothed and her new family members as they left on their long trek to their village. When the waving had stopped he took my hand and pulled me to our hut. That time his reservoirs were empty and he knew it but couldn’t help himself and he whimpered pathetically and non-stop until he‘d entered me and had found a soothing haven.

It was very hot in the hut and because he wasn’t moving – being totally depleted meant that there was nothing for him to gain by doing so – there was no air circulating between us and the sweat from his head and chest was dripping onto my chest and the sweat from his lower body merged with mine and things soon got to be soggy overall. Besides that, although he was supporting his upper body weight on his elbows, something sharp was sticking into my right buttock and something else was biting my right thigh. Also, we were both feeling miserable because neither of us was getting any pleasure.

While he was, literally, pinning me down I was in two minds about what was happening in that I felt resentful at having my primary sexual characteristic being utilized as a parking zone while, on the other hand, I was grateful for being the only woman for miles around, maybe in the entire country, who was able to bring comfort to the man who I was feeling closer to every day.

After what seemed to be about two hours, but was probably no more than fifteen minutes, his erection began to slip away and soon after that he got off me and we went back to the festivities.

It was positive certain to both of us that he’d been a slave to those savage urges of his and, when they’d been assuaged and we were watching the dancing, we talked about it but neither of us could begin to explain why they’d been triggered seeing that what had happened to the child was primitive and barbaric and inexcusable and couldn’t have played any part in it, and, equally weird, was the fact that the bride-to-be, like all of her sisters and cousins and friends and aunts, held zero sexual attraction for him.

Much later, back home, when we discussed the phenomenon again – he’d Googled the subject at work several times but always got so frustrated by the vast amount of useless information that, “You’d need a machete or a hand grenade to get through it,” that he gave up on it – the best that we could come up with was that his extreme reactions couldn’t have been primal because males of other animal species care only that a female be receptive – and it clearly doesn’t much matter to the male if it’s the first time or the hundredth time for her as you’ll see for yourself if your ever so pampered and pedigreed pet dog ever comes across a mangy, stray bitch who happens to be in heat – and it wasn’t built into all male homo sapiens because we didn’t see any of the villagers sneak off in pairs to find comfort – at least not until after all the food and beer had been consumed. So, that left us with: a sophisticated, youngish, inhibited from birth, white, western male who, on seeing – at the exact same time that the Sun did and hours before the bride-to-be’s husband did – the inner pinkness and the ultimate vulnerability of a crying female who was in her early teens with no hips and with small cones for breasts, got an overwhelming urge – along with the formidable weapon that was best suited to carry it out – to despoil her purity and her innocence by taking away the virginity that was just about her only asset in the world. We still don’t know the why’s – only the facts.

Privately, I often wondered how he would have coped if I hadn’t been there as a surrogate.

However, I had to partly forgive his masculine reactions, and actions, because, perhaps by association with what I knew was going to happen to the poor young bride’s already gravely wounded vulva after her long walk to her new home, the proceedings had strongly affected me too but in an entirely feminine way: I wanted to go and bang together the heads of all of the village women who had young daughters and then try to talk some sense into them.

Tsongo, the chief, was very proud of a hut that was to the side of the path on the far side of the village. Everybody referred to it, reverently, by the grand name that had been written, in charcoal, along a flat board at the top of it, ‘Information Bureau.’

The hut was about ten by twenty and had, perhaps, seven feet of headroom and it had a front that could be lowered on ropes to form a shelf on which the villagers’ ‘Arts and Crafts’ could be displayed for tourists. There hadn’t been any reason to open the place up for business for years by then because the company, called ‘Safari Tours,’ that was headquartered in a neighboring country had stopped offering the walking tour to the village – after parking their rugged, all terrain buses ten miles or so away on the nearest road, I guess that they should have been called “Nearly All Terrain Buses” seeing that they couldn’t come any closer than that – because of the unrest and hooliganism and outright banditry that had become standard practice in most of the country long before it had reached the capitol city.

All of the skulls and woodcarvings of various animals and flywhisks, etc. that had accumulated since that time, were stored there and they were all thickly covered in dust.

Seeing their large unsold stock made it clear to Brad and me that our hosts badly needed to find an indigenous product that could be made from freely available local materials that were light and easily transportable and could be taken to markets in the city where tourists, when they came back there – if not to the village – would find them attractive and snap them up.

Well. It so happened that a few days after we were shown the inside of the ‘Information Bureau’ – perhaps my brain had been put on the alert to look out for possible solutions – I noticed, on a firewood gathering trip to a new area that was down river a bit, that wherever there was a bit of shade, near tree trunks for example, weeds grew that had thin, round stalks just like the ones that our Girl Scouts troop had bought in big bundles to make little doll families out of to sell on our fund-raising drives. I collected a bunch of them and I tried to remember how we’d done it and, away from prying eyes in case I was hopeless at it, I practiced making dolls.

What you do is this – you get a stick that’s about one inch in diameter and, say, eight inches long. You cut off, evenly, one end to form a base and then you bind a bunch of the stalks around the bottom half and form a long skirt, upwards, with them. Then you shape and knot or weave some of the green, still flexible, stalks just below the top to make arms and you tuck them in place. You shape the exposed top part of the stick into a head and you paint – or, in the village, draw with charcoal – eyes and a nose and a mouth. You can then either make hair from more stalks or cut a little piece of cloth to make a bandanna or weave a little hat to fit on the head. You add a little woven basket to hide the fact that she doesn’t have any hands – far too difficult to make  – and, mission accomplished! Once you’ve got the hang of it it’s easy to vary the size of the sticks to make smaller dolls and that way you can get a family group. Add a dog and a horse and cart and – whatever – and you’re in business. You do some trimming with scissors or a sharp knife and then let the whole thing dry until it’s a stable straw color and then they’re not only long lasting and attractive but are saleable as individual pieces or as a tableau.

When I was satisfied with a half dozen of the figures that I’d made I pondered on the best way to get the enterprise off the ground. I knew at once that coercion wasn’t the way to go – having raised a daughter of my own – so I set up a small box for a seat and a bigger one for a table in some shade at the edge of the center square and I put the dolls that I’d made to one side of the table and I got on with making more. Sure enough, in a little while I got to be surrounded by girls and they were delighted with the end results and when I invited them to try making some for themselves they eagerly accepted the fun challenge and gave me their full attention.

When the elders came to investigate they saw that the products were eminently saleable to tourists – “If they ever come back which I doubt very much.” – and when I explained about the dolls being light enough to be easily carried in large quantities to the city their eyes lit up and they gave me their approval and promised full cooperation.

Before the end of the first week I found that I was far too slow at doing it and was taking up space that was needed by nimble-fingered artisans. All the rest of the time that I was there my only contribution was as a consultant and I got to applaud many clever new designs and innovative ways to add color and appeal to the various end products.

One day we ate something that was both vile – nothing new there – and poisonous and we got really sick. Nausea and dysentery was only the half of it.

I suspect that the villagers ‘treated’ me only because Brad, the mighty white hunter, was lying next to me but after they’d fed him most of the dark and fulsome broths and potions that they brought to our hut they’d give me the dregs.

As you’d guess, Brad recovered long before I did.

A week or so later, when he’d gotten fit again, he had to go hunting and I was left where I was – in my bed and still as weak as a kitten – but before he went off he told me that he’d asked Doctor Crone to take over the treatment and to feed me broth and to keep an eye on me.

As soon as the hunting party had gone off she, along with a half dozen of her assistants, came to me and when they saw the sorry state that the hut had been allowed to get into since they’d stopped bringing ‘medicines’ to Brad they lifted me onto his chair and then they made a pile of the two hides and the dress that I was wearing and all rest of the dirty stuff – Brad had simply dropped my soiled makeshift diapers into a bucket of water and had then made another one for me out of whatever he could find – and two of the assistants took them down to the river to wash and then drape them on rocks in the hot sun.

Another woman took away my fouled bedding and returned with armfuls of fresh fronds and I got to see the correct way to make them into a halfway comfortable mattress.

One woman who was close to being senile – I guessed that she’d lost her sense of smell along with her wits because she wasn’t a bit put off by the stink that was coming from my body – effectively and indifferently washed every part of me as thoroughly as if I was a newborn baby.

Doctor Crone had left the hut after delegating the chores and she didn’t return until a few hours later when the hides and the clothes had dried and everything had been restored to normal. I was relieved to see that she wasn’t carrying her knife with her because I’d feared that maybe the old aphorism was in force – ‘for the person with a hammer everything looks like a nail’ – and that held true even more when it became obvious that she, and her consultants, were positive sure that my illness and all of my misfortunes were centered in, well, in my center.

I was pleased to hear their preliminary, kind but barbed, comments about my breasts – the gist of it was that at my age it wasn’t right for me to have ones that are as pert and as appealing as a young girl’s and should, rightly, be as ugly and as depleted as theirs were – and then they turned me over and checked out my bottom and again they commented that it belonged, in their opinion, on a much younger woman.

They turned me onto my back again and as they were uncrossing my legs – I’d found the strength to cross them, out of modesty, and had kept them that way up until then but I couldn’t summon up enough to stop them from exposing me – they told me that they wanted to see what I had that was giving ‘Brad, the great white hunter’ so much pleasure every night and, just as importantly, how was it possible that I was getting so much of it myself.

When all was revealed they couldn’t believe what they were looking at and Doctor Crone quickly moved her body to shield it from the sight of what seemed to be every last woman of the whole village who were crowded in the doorway or, from the noise that was being generated, were just outside and straining to look in. She stayed there until an assistant had gone over and had shooed everybody away from the door to be able to close it.

I saw from the astonished looks on the faces of the women around me that while it was unlikely that any of them had ever before seen a grown woman’s sex organ that didn’t have tell-tale thread marks and scars on it they’d certainly never seen one that was pink and nearly hairless and as big and as bold as mine is. When they could speak again they all presumed, and feared, that not having been sewn up was the reason that my center had grown so much and was not only attention-grabbing and attractive but had developed an overwhelming aura of ‘woman’ around it that – they were positive – would practically beg any man who saw it to bow down and offer all that he had to be allowed access to it.

When the shock had worn off the good doctor told me that she had shielded it from general view because she’d known, instinctively, that as few women and girls as possible should be allowed to see it to avoid possible ‘future unrest’ in the village due to sheer envy.

They got on with their examination and I guessed what was coming next and, sure enough, the good doctor separated my labia and probed at me until she found my clitoris.

All of the medical practitioners around me said, “Aaargch” in contempt at first sight but that soon changed to “Ooooh” because it wasn’t as ugly and as menacing as they’d thought it would have to be but was actually border-line cute. They took turns to titillate it and, inevitably, it began to respond. Seeing it double in size made them begin to whoop and holler again and, it being totally outside of their experience, they kept at it and seemed to hope that it would keep growing until it got to be as big as a penis and I was vaguely sorry to have to disappoint them.

While they were doing that the noise from the crowd outside had kept growing until it had become a demanding roar and so Doctor Crone said that they’d have to let everybody in to take a look but that they weren’t to be allowed to see “everything” and, to that end, she told one of the women to hold open my labia in such a way that her fingers would cover both sides and she told another one to keep playing with my clitoris, in between viewers, to keep it big and in that way it, alone, would be a sight that would satisfy everybody’s curiosity.

When the stage had been set she opened the door and called out that all of them were to form a line and then file in, on a “one in and one out” basis, and take a look at “the ugly and evil piece of hanging man-flesh which would have grown on all of you if it wasn’t for the wisdom of your elders.”

When the last one had done her grimacing, and gasping, Doctor Crone closed the door again and she and her colleagues sat down wherever they could – on Brad’s side of the bed, or in his chair, or on the table but not on the stool for a very good reason that I found out about later, or squatted on the floor – and began to question me.

A word here about how we communicated. Their country was once in the British Empire and then in the British Commonwealth before they were ‘granted’ independence and so although their English is primitive they are the ones who are the linguists and so I‘d never dare to deprecate it. Also, while on the subject, I’m not talented enough to so much as attempt to write their words in the vernacular so I’ve taken the liberty of, except in one case, putting regular ones in their mouths, so to speak!

The good doctor asked me if all white women have – here, for the one and only time, I’m going to attempt to write one of her words in the vernacular and you’ll see why I’m doing so soon  – an “Oombbuloo” as large and as fat and as attractive as the one that I had? When I told her that mine is exceptionally big she said that she was glad to hear it because “otherwise there would never be much work done in your home village.”

She went on to ask, “I suppose that, like you, none of the girls in your home village are cut or sewn so I’d like to know how your society can survive?”

I responded by saying and asking, “I understand why those two things happened to you and to women of your age but I do not understand for a second why you’ve made your children go through with the barbaric practice in this, the twenty-first century.”

She told me that I’d got it all wrong on two counts, “First, by sewing our girls up we practically guarantee that they won’t have to marry their cousins or their uncles because this way we stay in control of who gets access to them. Also, when we inform the elders in other villages that one of them is ready for marriage, potential grooms come and check her out and then, if one of them finds that he likes her he sends his father and some elders to try to come to an agreement with her father and our chief as to what is a suitable dowry for her. We all know – it stands to reason – that it will be payable only after they have been given proof that she’s still a virgin because they want to be positive certain that she isn’t promiscuous and not, the Gods forbid – uh – sorry, I mean ‘Lord God in heaven forbid,’ and not pregnant already. Surely there’s nothing unreasonable about wanting to know that much about the future mother of your children or grandchildren, now is there? Secondly, girls are money in the bank for their parents and so we sew them up to safeguard the family’s interests. Without it we’d have to lock them up day and night and not let them play with their peers because in this hot country, which has few outlets for entertainment as you know for yourself by now, we are all – or we’d like to be – sexually active from an early age and we know how boys will be boys and how there are men out there who like to lie with young girls and would do so with force, or with candy or with shiny bangles, if they didn’t know that it was futile to try.”

“Well, all right,” I conceded reluctantly “but what about the cutting? Why should sexual pleasure be for men only?”

“Ha! You’ve got that wrong too. None of our women have a clitoris anymore but they all like to lie with a man as much as you do, especially if it’s the first time with that particular one. It’s exciting and makes the blood tingle – right? – and it brings contentment like nothing else can and, besides that, they all like to be able to give all that pleasure to a man with so little effort and while receiving some of it for themselves.

“No, the main reason for cutting our girls is that we’ve known for many generations that the only reason we women have a clitoris at birth is to make us want to couple, indiscriminately, as much as men do. Because of that, if a girl still had hers when she was sewn up her needs will drive her crazy round about the time that her breasts begin to show.

“My word! If the women in our village weren’t cut there’d be chaos seeing that even though we regularly have sex with just about all-comers after a festival, because we can, it’s obvious that if we needed it at all times as men do then there’d be orgies the year around and no work would be done.”

“Oh. Uh, why does a festival give you all license to be promiscuous?”

One of her assistants jumped in to answer me. “You have to look at the whole picture to understand how that gets to happen. When a girl is brought to her new husband’s village his family sees to it that she’s never left on her own until she’s given him two sons – daughters don’t count, of course, although they’re welcomed – but after that she’s allowed much more leeway in that it doesn’t much matter who fathers her future children although they are all welcomed into the family. You see, the family’s line is already secure by then seeing that all benefits are handed down only to the two oldest sons. Do you see the reason now?”

“I think so, yes, but I still don’t know where festivals come into it.”

Doctor Crone said, “Well, I’ll tell you. Sure, our husbands would prefer that we keep ourselves for them alone even after we’ve given them two sons but where’s the logic in that?” She licked her lips in glee before going on to say, “Let me explain the beauty of the custom that we’ve made our men accept and, thanks to the Gods, uh, sorry, thanks to God in heaven above, it makes women equal to men at least in that particular aspect. Let’s say that I’m a young woman who has at least two sons and my husband wants to lie with my best friend. OK? Well then, we’ve been careful to get him to see that before doing so he has to ask himself ‘Who is my best friend’s husband going to lie with in turn?’ D’you see? And, of course, by extension that applies to every man and woman in the whole village. Yes? D’you see? As for why does it happen at festivals only? That’s also agreed on by everybody otherwise, as I already said, not much work would ever get done and there’d be few hunts for meat nor for fruit and roots and ground-nut gathering nor all the rest of it that keeps a village going.”

All the time that this conversation was going on they’d all been staring at my center as if it was a TV set that was showing a favorite sit-com of theirs and when Doctor Crone stopped talking one of the women came close and touched it reverently and said, “It’s just as well that only we few saw this. If the other women and girls had seen it properly we’d have a big problem on our hands.”

The good doctor grumbled agreement and she reached to smooth it lovingly herself and said, “Hoh! What if one of our men had seen it?” There were shouts of alarm and then many groans before she went on, “We’d probably never be able to stop them from sneaking away to the city to look for one like this for themselves and who could blame them? Even I feel its power. It’s a whole lot more powerful than what any of our women have and that’s nothing to do with whether it was sewn up or not.”

One of the women who had remained silent up until then said, “I doubt if we’ll ever be able to sing our “Full Circle” song again if one of the men gets to see this one.” She moved closer and stroked my belly gently and then went on down, and said, “This Oombbuloo says something so different from all of ours that none of the words of the song would hold true. Right? The circle would break if this one ever joined it.”

That really intrigued me so I asked them to tell me what the words of the song were.

They looked at each other and did some nodding and then they all moved until they’d found enough space to be able to kneel on the floor and then sit back on their heels and then they closed their eyes and began singing.

Their song started and ended with “Oombbuloo” and the intervening words were all strung together and there were a whole lot of ‘B’s and ‘L’s’ and ‘W’s’ and ‘M’s’ in there along with multiple use of all the vowels. None of the women seemed to pause to take a breath although the song took at least five minutes to get through.

They all moved their arms in unison from beginning to end and I interpreted some of their miming but not all of it.

When they’d finished they kept their eyes closed for a moment or two and then they stood up and docilely looked at Doctor Crone for orders.

She signaled that it was time to leave and so they filed out and when she got up too I asked her to please stay a minute and explain what the song and the miming, that had clearly moved them all a great deal, signified.

She nodded and then knelt on the floor again and began from the beginning but she went more slowly.

I already knew that “Oombbuloo” was her vagina and birth canal and as she was saying the word to start the song again her hands mimicked a man driving himself into her from behind. Then she intimated a swollen belly and then she pressed down on it so as to evict a baby, which was a male child as she showed by raising and then wagging her little finger. She kept on singing and her hands went along with it and showed the boy growing to become a man – here are his broad shoulders and this is how tall he became and then she spaced her hands to show how big his member had grown – and she indicated that his marriage followed and then showed some of his heavy action on the first night and then her words and gestures took on a sad aspect as they went on to tell how he soon lost interest in his wife and spent most of his days with his friends smoking and drinking and so she had to spend a lot of time looking for him to go and find food but he avoided her and didn’t come back to her until nature called him – here she made her right hand into a fist and crudely pumped her forearm into the air – and she mimicked, with palpable irony, that he’d returned only in response to the call of her “Oombbuloo.” As she said that last word she made it vividly clear that the man was behind her again and was working his hips as hard as he could for all the world as if he wanted nothing less than to destroy what had given him life. At the very end she showed that although he got a good deal of pleasure from doing it after a month or so he’d go off again and leave her with another swollen belly.

When I’d first seen it done, a few minutes earlier, I’d stupidly thought that each woman was speaking for herself as she went through the parable/pantomime but by slowing down the good doctor let me get to understand that their word ‘Oombbuloo’ refers to each and every vagina in the entire village.

I remember hoping, fervently, that I’d be allowed to see all the women of the village sing it in unison and out in the open before we left – if that ever happened! – but I never did get to see it and so I can only guess at how powerful a sight it has to be.

I don’t think that it’s a “We the women . . . ” declaration but more like a “We are women, hear us roar,” presentation. Not so much a complaint as a statement that they alone possess the “Gateway To The World,” and that, “Man, born of woman, spends the rest of his life trying to get back into one.” and, loosely and overall, a veiled lament that asks the general question, “Do we forever have to put up with the fact that our gender is our destiny?”

I thanked the good doctor profusely and she was clearly pleased when she’d looked long and hard at my face and saw that I was being sincere. After a minute or two, she got up and made her way to the door but when she got there she changed her mind about leaving because she came back to me and did some more staring at my center, as if she wanted to confirm what she’d already deduced, and then she nodded and said, “Well. I know now why Brad, the great white hunter, wants to do it only to you and why you both make so much noise when it’s going on. For him it’s because your buttocks are still firm and small and so he can get all the way into you and all men like that and, also, it’s because he can hold on to your firm breasts while he’s doing it and because of them, and because you’re bending over your love stool he can’t see your face, he so he can forget that you’re an old woman. Am I right?”

I wanted to say something nasty to her, because the truth hurt, but I was weak and so I swallowed my anger. Another reason that I held my tongue was because I didn’t want to appear to be completely stupid by revealing that, up to that moment, I’d had no idea that three-legged stools were used only for that purpose and I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we always did it face to face except, occasionally, in preliminary play.

“I also know the reason why you shout out as loudly as he does,” she went on. “It’s because you have a clitoris still and that makes you part man and so you get two kinds of pleasure. Right? His kind and our kind. What I haven’t figured out yet is how can he trust his manhood to you knowing full well that the thing is dangerously close to it all the time that he’s inside you and they could easily get tangled up and it might even try to do harm to him.”

When she got to the door again she said, almost over her shoulder, “Well, it’s way too late for you and your daughters but I suggest that, when you get back to your home village, you consider the benefits that come from cutting and sewing up girls and you should surely do it to your granddaughters before it’s too late for them too.”



We’d been living in the village for eight long months before the same mechanic who’d saved our lives by taking us there on foot guided the pilot of a large, hired helicopter back to find us – I’m sure that all of the villagers are talking about it to this very day because never before have I seen such panic and fear and curiosity mixed together and it lasted until they saw us stand our ground and then approach the weird looking vehicle but they didn’t come anywhere near it until the rotors had stopped turning – and with him was the President of the local company and the Manager and there were broad smiles of relief on both of their faces, my office in New York had given them a good deal of grief about our safety, and never has the sight of two ‘suits’ brought me more pleasure.

After all the handshakes the President told us that the attempted insurrection had been suppressed and that it had happened a few weeks earlier but, understandably, the mechanic had had to unite his own scattered family, and set them up and help mend their wounds, before showing up for work again when he’d told the Manager where he’d taken us.

We were given a royal send-off by the villagers, they killed a goat-kid, and after we’d all eaten we gave the chief, Tsongo, one of the wildebeest hides and one of the mounted heads, and then we began the journey back to civilization that, you can bet, included a long plane ride the very next day.

Before we went to the airport we picked up our ‘blessed-be-his-name’ mechanic and took him to a gun shop and I followed his suggestions and bought a top-of-the-line semi-automatic rifle, along with five hundred rounds for it, and then we picked out a set of a half dozen different fishing rods, with assorted lures, and Mil went to another store and came back with a linen bag filled with “Women’s stuff.”  I asked the mechanic to give it all to his uncle and his wife as a gift from us for the village as a whole. We had to stick to easily portable gifts because of the transportation problem and although I would have much preferred to send provisions by air that would tide them over rough times when we found out how much the helicopter had cost my company for a one day hire we had to back away from that.

My company, of course, informed our family of our reappearance and when we got off the plane they were waiting for us along with two local, and one Network, TV news teams.

When all the excitement was over and my wife and I found ourselves alone in our bedroom we got undressed and met up in the middle of the bed and we had a marvelous time getting to know each other again.

However, after about one week of being home I had to insist that the light was always left on because the only way that she could come even close to providing me with what her mother could give me was by my being able to look down at her nice young face that was framed by her reddish-brown hair as I was getting on with it. Having to accept the fact that I’d lost, seemingly forever, the right to experience close contact with her mother’s perfect pussy and her magic, out-of-true love canal made me feel sad even when my wife was, to show her relief at having me safely back in her life, bravely doing, or allowing, my favorite things in bed.

When we were resting between bouts on my first night home she ventured to ask, “Having to share a hut must have been difficult for you two. How did you manage?”

“Very well, considering. When you get to know your mother well you realize that she’s a nice woman.”

“Ah, it’s so good to hear you say that especially when I remember how badly you two got along before you were left behind on that hateful train-station platform. You were always going hammer and tongs at each other. Sometimes I thought that you were close to coming to blows!”

“Ah, yes. Well, I doubt that that will ever happen again. Yes. I’m pretty sure that it won’t.”



I missed him tremendously – especially when it got to be time to go to sleep every night and he wasn’t there to wrap his arms around me and then tuck his fifth limb between my legs for safe keeping through the dark night – and so as soon as things in our family had gotten back yo normal I started in on thinking up a plan to get at least some of him back into my life.

I allowed another full month to go by – the evenings of which were vodka soaked because otherwise I couldn’t get to sleep – before I put my plan into action.

When I laid it out for Brad he was very enthusiastic and what we’ve agreed on is this: once a week – I don’t want to take away too much of what rightfully belongs to my daughter – usually on Wednesdays, when he’d dropped the kids off at school and had checked in at his office and my daughter was doing her job as Assistant Day Manager of a big hotel in town, he comes back home at around eleven thirty – he plays what he calls the ‘early lunch/late lunch’ trick to get two to three hours of free time – to find that I’ve left our connecting door wide open so that he can smell the beef stew that’s been simmering in my kitchen for hours – along with the yucca and yautia and batatas that I buy from a specialty food store in town – as soon as he walks through his front door.

When he finds me I see that his eyes invariably have a kind of sad, homeless look and so I open up my robe and strike a pose and it always perks him up no end and stops him in his tracks. Then, eyes locked on, he follows me as I back into my bedroom where I’d have already put the wildebeest hide that we’d brought home with us on the bed and had taken the mounted skull from behind the door and re-hung it where we can both see it readily and had positioned the three legged stool, the one that I’d found on E-bay, in the middle of the carpet in case our love play calls for its use. He gets undressed in seconds and he spends a good half hour looking at and playing with and then eating-all-up my center so as to get properly re-acquainted and to get me ready to welcome him inside and eventually generate super, mind-boggling-due-to-seven-long-days-and-nights-of-deprivation, orgasms for both of us.

Afterwards, we go to the kitchen and eat the stew, using two spoons and one dish, and I always have to sit on a high barstool, which I’d have brought up from in front of the basement bar that he’d built, with my robe wide open and I have to face forwards and stay aware of my posture at all times because he whines like a schoolboy if Glory-be ever gets to be blocked from his view.

Verily it, and I, are blooming like never before and everybody keeps telling me that my sojourn in darkest Africa has done wonders for me but none of them can possibly guess as to what was responsible for giving me my new lease on life. I’ve got great hopes that that part of me will never age and that the regular orgasms, along with his protein injections for balance, that it brings me will keep all the rest of me in good health and will continue to give me a positive view on life by keeping me in the main stream of it.

I think that when we’re in the kitchen together Brad, the great white hunter, gets his brains addled by the combination of nostalgia, from eating the stew with its exotic vegetables, and from staring at Glory-be – knowing that it is his alone and has just given him a whole lot of pleasure and will do so again, and regularly – because he often tells me, as he’s going out the door, some variant of what he told me a few Wednesdays ago:

“Y’know something, Joy? I sincerely hope that I die before you do because the mere thought of being here without you to make love to drives me nuts but if you do leave us – when you’re about a hundred years old, say – I swear to God that I’m going to have Glory-be stuffed and mounted.”


I’m pleased to be able to report that both of my grand-daughters have inherited my most singular attribute and, hopefully, the other one too – as was obvious from the time that they were babies because of the pleasing symmetry of their perfectly proportioned centers although the truth is that I haven’t seen either of them naked for years because by the time that the eldest one had spent just one week in grade school she’d picked up all the inhibitions that her parents had worked hard to keep her sheltered from. For instance – up until then, when they had to urinate or defecate, they’d use those very words to inform us of the fact but afterwards they insisted on reverting to saying “I have to pee, or poo.” Also, they were, of course, as flat-chested as their brother was but from their first day of school they learned that girls should cover their nipples at all times. Also, both of them began to slip the bolt on the bathroom door, every time that they went in there, “I need my privacy, Grandma.”

There is nothing that any of us can do to reverse that lamentably inhibited trend but I swear that when they get to be close to their mid-teens I’m going to find a way to tell them about the blessed Glory-be’s that they have between their legs and, hopefully, the wonders that they have lurking in their reproductive tracts and that they are to be careful to not waste those priceless assets by being as foolish as their mother had been – at least not until they’ve fully utilized them both to their best advantage.