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A Walk With His Daughter In The Autumn Wind

by John Powell

posted in Arts and Entertainment

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Kwame Mainu had agreed that his daughter, Akosua, could have the old dog, Takoradi, after he retired from police service as a drugs sniffer. Akosua also helped to care for Professor Tom Arthur's little son, so when it came to the time for Takoradi's afternoon walk, father and daughter decided to go with both dog and pushchair..
It was a cold and windy autumn day and they hurried along to keep warm. Akosua made sure that Little Tom was well wrapped in his buggy but like Takoradi he seemed oblivious of the cold. Boy and dog shared an interest is trying to catch the swirling multi-coloured leaves that blew towards them. On the common, Kwame kept them well away from the benches under which he had found a hypodermic syringe. The big dog chased his ball and the toddler tried to chase the big dog, with very little success. Akosua did her best to serve both their needs.
After the game of ball Takoradi decided to check out the benches but Kwame managed to head him off and re-attach his lead. 'Once a drug sniffer, always a drug sniffer, eh Dad?' Akosua joked. 'I don't want him finding any more syringes,' Kwame said, 'Last time I reported finding one to the police they politely told me that if they wanted a needle they already knew where to find one. It seems they don't want members of the public telling them what to do.'
'Don't they ever collect them up, Dad?'
'I guess they do, but they get replaced every night.'
'Do we have drug addicts like that in Ghana?'
'Not too many on hard drugs but the numbers are increasing.'
'Why do they do it?'
'It seems that most people start because of peer pressure. I hope there's nothing like that in your school.'
'We've had a police officer come in to warn us of the dangers but I've not heard of any girls getting involved.'
'So the drugs dealers don't come there anymore.'
'Not since the police came.'
They were walking home more slowly in the failing light, with a sleeping child and an exhausted dog. With the weakening wind on their backs there was less incentive to hurry. 'You like looking after Little Tom, don't you?' Kwame said. 'Yes, Dad,' Akosua replied, 'I want to work with children.'
'I thought you wanted to study medicine at university.'
'Yes, if I pass my 'A' levels with good grades.'
'Then how will you work with children?'
'If I succeed in studying medicine, I'll specialise in paediatrics.'
'Well, I'm glad you've got it all worked out, Akosua Mainu.'
'Did I take a long time, Dad?'
'No longer than most young people.'
About the Author: John Powell
John Powell weaves a tale of tension and intrigue into the lives and loves of Kwame Mainu and his family and friends, against the rich social, cultural, economic and political background of the first four decades of Ghana's independence, in his two novels: The Colonial Gentleman's Son and Return to the Garden City.
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