IN a little village somewhere in the country, the village headman and the assistant headman listened to the huge commotion outside their hut, “The people are angry,” whispered the assistant headman, “They want milk powder for their sickness!” “But I gave them one spoon of milk powder!” said the headman.
“They know two are required!” said the assistant headman, “And there are many who have not even got their first spoon of milk!” The headman looked at his assistant, and then they both peered out of the window at the frenzied mob outside, “If you don’t order their milk powder from somewhere, they will throw us out and maybe lynch us!”
Said the assistant, “Anyway, why didn’t you order more milk powder?” “I thought the illness would go away. I did not expect a second wave of sickness!” “But you were warned about it!” said his assistant.
“I thought I could use that money to build a bigger village meeting council house!” sighed the headman, “I was fed up sitting in that bamboo hut and conducting proceedings feeling all cramped up, and I wanted the surrounding villages to feel envious of our new meeting house!”
The shouting outside grew louder and more vicious. “You have to think of something,” said the assistant fearfully, rubbing his bald head and peering at the headman through his glasses, while rubbing his hands fearfully on his rather fat body. “How much milk powder do we have?”
Asked the headman, his eyes looking shrewdly in the distance. “Just enough to give those who’ve had the first dose of milk, their second dose! We did tell them that after two spoons of milk taken at an interval of four weeks, they would be okay!”
The headman got up, rubbed his white beard, opened the door, and faced the people, “I have just got word,” he said, “that we should keep a gap of eight to twelve weeks between one spoon of milk and the next! So, don’t worry, we can now distribute what we have to those who have not had their first spoonful!” There was a roar of approval from the crowd, and the headman walked back into his headman hut.
“That was ingenious!” said his assistant. “Now I can continue with the construction of my grand meeting hall, and even a new residence for me!” said the headman. “And what will happen after twelve weeks?” asked the assistant, but this time with a grin.
“Well we could beat thalis together to ward off the illness, or we could just say that the illness has gone away, and that we have all got herd immunity!” “You do have a way with promises!” said his assistant, and then they heard a shrill woman’s voice, “Except with that didi..!”