The offspring has a chapter in his English Reader titled Home on the Veld. The chapter is an extract from the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, and speaks about his childhood in a village called Qunu in South Africa. While to all purposes, the extract painted a lovely picture of an idyllic childhood spent in the bosom of nature, and the joys of living in the rondavels as one family, with plenty of cousins and aunts living together, the offspring was a little concerned about the number of little niggling things that I did not even notice or register.
“Does he not go to school?” he asked me, because nothing about school was mentioned in the extract. All there was, was about being a herdsman and learning stick fighting and felling birds with sling shots and drinking milk straight from the udders of the cows and such like.
I was sure there was school involved somewhere in his childhood, I told the offspring. Perhaps this extract was about his early years, and when he grew a little older, he did get into school and get himself an education in addition to his non-negotiable duties as a herdsmen.
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