The Devil Makes Work for Idle Hands

A funny story, by Njide Mkparu

The devil makes work for idle hands is the same saying as ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop’. This saying reminds me of what happened during my primary school days.

There was a boy in my class. His name is Ken. He was nicknamed ‘Ken the Cat’. He was given this name because of his attitude. He is very lazy and avoided every physical exercise in school. He always made a cat move whenever he was needed in a strong task. The teachers and the headmaster would always asked; ‘where is pussy-cat’? We would all laugh and chorused. “He has dodged”.

Every Friday, all the pupils from primary three to six came to school with craft-works. The girls and few boys came with palm leaves. We used blunt knives to trim the leaves and extract beautiful long brooms. The brooms were finely tied and submitted to the teachers as crafts and handi-works.

The boys came with palm twine for local baskets and chair weaving. The stronger and the talented ones came with tree stems for the caving of mortar and pestles. These too they submitted at the end of the craft week. Marks were awarded to us and the best is awarded a prize at the end of every academic session.

devil makes work for idle hands - idle mind is the devil’s workshop
Ken, how lazy he was, never participates in handi-works!

Ken never participated in this craft and handi-work exercises. He preferred idleness and perambulations. One day, the devil made works for him and he nearly put his life in it. One day, our teacher came to school with salt, sugar, and a bottle of Sprite. At the period of Health Education; she used the items to teach us how to fight dehydration when we have diarrhea at home. She experimented with salt and sugar and water. She experimented again with sprite and salt. Later, she gave us little to sip. The taste was good. We begged for more but we were denied and she took the rest to the Headmaster’s office.

Two days later we had our usual hand-craft day. Ken did not join us as usual. But when we came back to the class, we saw his lifeless naked body on our teacher’s table. All the teachers gathered in our class and were pacing up and down the classroom, muttering some prayers. In no time, an Ambulance drove into our school with the headmaster. They carried him into the Ambulance and sped off.

The story was that Ken came to school with a scroll driver and master keys. When everybody was busy doing craftwork; he broke into the Headmaster’s
office. He was searching for the Oral drip bottle. He saw a white bottle that looked similar and drank the contents. The bottle was a poisonous chemical.

Ken spent the whole term in the hospital battling for his life. He was known for idle hands. So, the devil made work for him.

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