The lesser of two evils

The day had been sunny and warm. The thermometre in the schoolroom measured above 30 C, though I found it difficult to believe it was that warm. Some convincing thunder was beginning to rumble around suppertime, so to be on the safe side, though feeling slightly foolish as I passed some villagers, I wore rubber boots and brought my umbrella along with my flashlight as I went over to Friesens' for supper. Better safe than sorry--after all, it would certainly rain before I returned home and the boots would ensure that I wouldn't arrive home at Scotts' with 10 pounds of mud on each flipflop.

It did, in fact, rain off and on all evening. After a nice peaceful interlude, the deluge began again as we neared the end of our Triple Yahtzee game. I needed to get back before too late, so trusting in my preparations, I braved the rain.

The first surprise was the small river previously known as the path. The boots kept my feet dry, but a few steps in I realized my skirt was skimming the waves so I moved onto the grassy chain of hillocks along the edge. Then the lightning started to flash. To understand my concern, you need to know that there is a LOT of thunder and lightning during transition season, it is VERY close. I've been told being struck by lightning is not nearly as uncommon in parts of Africa as it is at home. So my question was, do I keep up the umbrella-with its 3-inch metal point sticking out the top-and run the risk of electrocution, or do I collapse it to be on the safe side and accept the certainty of getting soaked? I chose optimism and dryness. If worst came to worst, lightning strike would be a fairly spectacular way to die.


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