Like most children I’d been warned numerous times not to play with fire, and like most I tempted fate. I was playing in a thatched hut, the kind that’s designed like a small open pavillion. Its main use was outdoor cooking; roasting maize and frying gari. The space itself was resourceful–one day I witnessed a couple of women poking holes in its mud floor revealing what appeared to be large beetles. These were summarily roasted, salted and peppered, then devoured–a kind of a snack. They did invite me to eat with them, but I demurred. After they left, and armed with a stick and a broken rubber bucket I pretended to roast maize over the open fire. Part of the bucket melted into a thick long strip and the force of gravity caused it to descend and adhere to the underside of my forearm. In agonizing pain yet unable to locate my father, a teenaged boy yanked the molten rubber from my arm, then trekked several miles with me to the local clinic to have the wound dressed. The dressing stayed for several weeks until a British fowl mercifully plucked off the offending bandage to reveal the new skin underneath.