From Bakhita's Diary
Moments of freedom
After some time the Master had placed the two of us in another separate room which he himself locked, especially when he had to be away from home.
One evening when he returned frora the market with a mule laden with maize, he entered aia deri, took the chains off our ankles and ordered us to husk the ears of corn which he had brought. He also gave some to the mule to eat
We were alone and unchained!
Here, by God's grace, was our unique opportunity! We looked at each other, got hold of each other's hand, looked cautiously about and noticing that no one was there, dashed off to the open cauntry! We did not know where we were going; we simply knew that we must trust ourselves to the speed of our young legs. Far the whole night we ran and ran, into the woods and through desert land. We were panting and exhausted. Imagine our fright when we heard. in the darkness of the night the roaring of a wild beast! When it approached, the best we could do was to dash for a tree and climb it, in order to save our skins.
When it was day we continued walking; making our way through bushes and wild grass. As we proceeded, we heard, in the distance, the typical noise of an approaching caravan.
Scared to death, we hid behind some thorny bushes. For two long hours we could see the long chaingang of poor slaves pass us by. Fortunately no one noticed us. No doubt God was protecting us: no one else could do it, given the circumstances.
In my childish naivety I was convinced that all my sufferings were behind me and that, soon, I would be able to embrace my dear ones again. lt all seemed so easy and my coarage grew
As a new day dawned, we stopped to take some rest and to gain our breath. We were really tired; our hearts beat fast within our breast, big drops of sweat fell along our young bodies and a keen hunger was lacerating our stomach. And we had nothing to eat.
The great desire to see our families and the fear to be followed and caught gave us the strength to continue to run, but our weariness was beginning to tell But where were we going?
At sunset we noticed some huts, and our hearts leapt with jog We anxiously sharpened our gaze to see whether that was our village and our home, but it was not. You may well imagine our disappointment and sadness.