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This true story happened to Memory Banda from Monze, Zambia

I want to tell you about something that happened to me when I was five years old, because I learned a lesson from it. One day I went to the river with my friends to bathe. As we were bathing, an old woman came along with a bag of maize flour on her head. She stopped, put her bag down and also went into the river to bathe.

As soon as she was in the water, I climbed out and went to her bag. I picked up some sand which I mixed with the maize flour. I was too young to know just how bad this was.

I hid in the grass

The old lady was busy bathing and the long grass by the river hid me. She could not see or hear me. But someone did see me – a man who was walking by. He told the old lady what I was doing.

I heard what he said and hid quickly in some long grass, leaving the flour full of sand. I hid for some time with my eyes shut. Maybe, being only five years old, I thought no-one could see me if I had my eyes shut. At last I opened them, hoping the lady had gone away.

She had gone, but something terrible was there. Beside me on the ground was one of the most deadly snakes – a python. I knew this was a very bad snake which can even kill and swallow people. I was so afraid, that for a few seconds I could not move.

I ran and ran

Then I ran and ran, as fast as I could, to get away from the snake, until I was safely home. I know that I did a bad thing that day, but I learnt something very good from what happened.

Even though I did wrong, God did not punish me. He showed that he loved me by keeping me safe from the python.