Photo prompt © Fatima Fakier Deria


“We’ll never all fit,” Sultana groaned.

“Lots of room!” the driver boomed encouragement even as he tightened screws underneath the van.

“C’mon!” Mariam elbowed past her cousin and climbed onto the vehicle, parcels and a flapping hen in hand. “Next one isn’t till dawn.”

Sultana looked around as if better conveyance would miraculously manifest. None did. She sighed, grabbed her packages and hoisted the bleating kid under an arm. She squeezed aboard, the last one on, with barely room enough to sit down.

The door slammed. The goat peed, soaking her lap.

It’ll be a long ride to Jaddati’s farm.




For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers





50 thoughts on “Sardines

  1. Oh lordy… I guess when one lives in that type of environment, one gets used to such, um, modes of transportation. I dunno that I could ever adapt.
    Your descriptions, however, brought me right there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very charming funny tale of discomfort. You can hear her saying “just my luck!” At first I thought the kid was a human child–and many a mom who let things go too long between diaper changes knows what that’s like too. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, yeah, well, if that’s your worst nightmare, you are probably in relatively good shape in the night-terrors-department … 😉 Though, yeah, I would NOT want to be stuck in that van for any length of time … What is reality, though, for many people in many areas of the world, where this is public transportation, crowding and all manner of ‘non-human passengers’ included.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, that is true. One of my nieces was traveling in a rural area in one of the less modernly-developed countries in the world, and their bus (van, really) got stuck in a muddy ditch. Everyone pulled their shoes off, rolled up their pants or tucked their skirts up, and went to work digging and pushing … The only ones exempt were the women with small children, the hens, and the squealing pigs, who were left on the van for the duration … Once released from the mucky hold, the passengers filed back in, and shared bananas from a bunch someone had on the roof. 🙂 My niece was scared at first, and amazed and moved thereafter (no pun). For many of the people there, this was a day in the life … and they just got on with it.


    • 🙂 Yeah. Don’t I know it! … (actually, I do know the goat pee situation … we had a goat, and the goat had kids, and one of them piddled in my lap when it was a few days old … Was mostly surprising, but I wouldn’t want to have to sit with that on the bus for hours … 😉 (also, I would NOT want to be within a good distance of the pee of a Billy Goat. Them stink!!!). 😉


    • Yeah, I think it may well end up being a pretty entertaining ride … 😉 If nothing else, it’d be filled with sensory perceptions … 😉
      (as for goat kid pee in your lap … it is not something you forget … 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Sultana. It’s too bad that a “better conveyance did not miraculously manifest” (love how you put that). I’m always amazed how people in other parts of the world just get on with it. They take the not so great and deal with it. More strength and determination than me. Very entertaining story, though a little stinky. =)

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    • Yes, a little stinky. One hopes that the flapping hen (and any ducks or other livestock outside the peeing goat baby) did not add its own to the mix … 😉
      And, yes, people make do, don’t they? It is part heroism, part tenacity, part practical acceptance of what one cannot change and better make the best of while one can … till one hopefully can improved choices.
      Poor Sultana indeed. Hopefully her grandmother’s farm will offer some comforts that the ride did not …

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yep. Had goats growing up. … 😉 Sometimes … yeah … they do. … I had a kid goat pee in my lap once, a few days old it was, and nursing, and therefore not-so-stinky as a more grown goat’s pee would be (the ‘intact’ Billy Goats are, of course, the WORST) … but still not much fun to be tinkled on … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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