Two hours straight in front of the computer screen could be a pain: strained eyes, stiffed hands, aching back and heated bottom. Even if you enjoyed the productive endeavor, you still needed the rest and possibly a short distraction.

I went outside to let my eyes survey the greenery. It’s believed to help the eyes relax, removing the stress brought about by the screen’s glare. With a light stretching exercise, I believed I could make a second round of encoding half an hour later.

An empty sack was on the ground, a reminder that I postponed something earlier which I probably had forgotten when I visited the neighbors. It was the most appropriate time to finish the task.

Since I needed the walk, I brought the sack with me. I knew where I was headed so I thought why not accomplish two activities in one go.

I reached a wide clearing, where tied carabaos and cows grazed. Their handlers would fetch them before sundown, bringing them back to the safety of their respective sheds.

I could see the objects of my desire from where I stood. There were in all shapes and sizes, littering the field. My sack would be easily filled.

The first I picked up had a flattened shape much like the size of a small pizza. It was crisp, baked to a dry by the week long sunny weather. Most likely, all of them had similar properties.

I was careful, not only the animals moved around without direction, I could step on fresh manure which would defeat the purpose of a pleasant walk.

The road was empty except for a child who was probably sent on an errand. We would be crossing paths near the hilly portion. I could see him giving my sack a hard look. I was sure he knew what was inside.

Once he was mere three feet away, he pinched his nose to a close, the fresh air he breathed a while ago was substituted by a natural odor that could only be described as bad. But as a farmer I was used to the aroma, fully aware that the objects would indirectly be beneficial to my health.

At home, I readied an empty steel bucket, placing dried leaves and grasses inside it to become some sort of a combustible bed for the objects. According to local beliefs, when burned, the mix would produce grayish smoke that would drive away mosquitoes.

Frankly, I did not believe the idea when I was new in the area. But experience proved its effectiveness every time: mosquitoes were nowhere in sight.



19 thoughts on “Scented

  1. I don`t know if you should have stayed home straining your eyes in front of the computer,you walked out and suddenly a bad smell comes your way………
    And then you are inhaling toxic gases to be able to type away without mosquitos biting you, you are torturing yourself!

    Nice read as always Mr. Belsbor.

    1. Well, we burn the mix and let the smoke do its magic. Of course, we have to be further away not to inhale the fumes. Once the mosquitoes are gone, we can go back to our work.
      Thanks for the concern. 🙂

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