LESSON : DISABILITY IS NOT INABILITY
Once upon a time there were four dogs. They were called, Safi, Nzuri, Cheshi and Nuna. They were really great friends. They all lived in different homes, owned by different families but they loved to play together. Every morning, they would gather in a small play ground and play. They would chase each other’s tails, throw sand at each other, take a dip in the nearby pond or just bask in the sand.
One day, as they were playing, Cheshi fell into an open hole and injured its leg really bad. hE was quickly rushed to the vet and unfortunately, its leg could not be fixed. The doctor had to amputate. He healed well and recovered and went home. At home, he was taken care of by his family until he got well.
Once he could go to the field to play, he went to join his friends. When Cheshi’s friends saw that he was back, they all gathered bout him and listened to him tell of how the doctor had to remove it’s leg and how he was taken care of until he was well again. They were all happy he was back.
The joy however was short lived since he could not ran as fast as the others during play, neither could he do the stunts he used to do before the accident. As time passed, Safi, Nzuri and Nuna stopped playing with him. They told him he could not be their friend any more.
This deeply made Cheshi sad. He would come and lie down and watch as his friends played. After several weeks, he stopped coming altogether and went to a different field to play all by himself. One day, a new neighbor moved in and brought another dog with him. Her name was Imara. Since Imara was new, she wanted to know everywhere there was grounds to play in the neighborhood. Cheshi introduced her to her former friends, took her round the neighbourhood and showed her all she needed to know especially on how to get home after a long walk in. Cheshi and Imara became first friends and started playing on their own in different play areas. When Cheshi’s former friends noticed this, they talked to Imara, trying to get to understand how she could play with Cheshi even though his pace was so slow. Imara told them that it was important to walk at the pace of the slowest in a pack, especially when one was injured. She also told them that just because Cheshi was injured and had three legs did not make him less of a dog, a friend or a playmate. Cheshi was intelligent and that did not change because he had hurt his leg. Cheshi was friendly and kind, and the fact that he had three legs did not make him less of a kind and friendly dog. He was still the same, with three legs.
This really opened the perspective of the other three dogs. They learnt that Cheshi’s disability did not define his ability to be a friend, or play mate. They apologized to Cheshi and never isolated him ever again. They learnt to slow down whenever necessary, and Cheshi learnt to speed up, against all odds.
But they never ever again let his inability inhibit their friendship.