Quail farming? Not on my property{Humour}

Tenants! They will be the death of me some
day. Really! The things they put us through can
be painfully entertaining. Right now, I am from
Umoja estate in Nairobi, sorting out a mess
involving birds, brawls and thievery allegations.
Though I have a clear policy that expressly bans
the rearing of animals, any sort of animals, in
my property, a tenant has gone ahead and kept
a flock of birds.
Let me tell you about this. You must have heard
about these money minting birds that are in the
market nowadays. Quails. They have been
around for like forever but all of a sudden, there
has been an explosion in their ratings, with a
single egg going for as much as a Sh100.
This is an egg the size of a ball gum; I would
have to take 20 of them to feel like I have eaten
an egg. Anyway, this quail craze got into this
tenant of mine in this Umoja flat. The block is
four storeyed and he lives on the second floor.
For the past few months, the man has been
raising quails, converting one of his bedrooms
and a balcony into a nesting place for the birds.
Personally, I have nothing against the sneaky
entrepreneur nor the silly birds but once you
put the two into my property, then you are
inviting a huge ruckus from me. Animals are
not just a nuisance to other tenants, they are
also a danger to the property itself. Some other
idiot was keeping a pet snake in Komarock.
I was forced to sell the building to some
unsuspecting ‘warrior’ after rumours of devil
worshipping ensured it remained without
tenants for months. Finally, there was a lawyer
tenant who threatened to sue me after I ran
over his little girl’s puppy accidentally. I drafted
a memo stipulating new rules and emphasizing
on the intolerance I will have on animal
keeping, any sort, in my houses. I had the said
rules translated into four languages.
Still, a tenant in Umoja finds the allure of quail
farming so strong that he goes ahead and
breaks my rules. According to him, he invested
Sh50,000 in the business, buying chicks and
converting the space into a roost. The business
has been doing pretty well, with him cashing in
on the eggs. However, neighbours have not
been very comfortable. “The stench that comes
from his house is sickening, I tell you,”
complains his immediate neighbour.
“We complained to him but he told us to mind
our own business.” So as it turns out, this man
was not only a law breaker, he was also a nasty
neighbour. He refused to give audience to his
colleagues who besides the bad smell, also
suffered discomforts from bird noises and
strange fellows that visited to buy the goods.
The neighbours gave up on reasoning with him
and since I was also not accessible, they
decided to teach the sneaky son of his mother a
“A week ago, I noticed that the number of birds
was going down drastically,” relates the quail
farmer. The dwindling number coincided with
the sweet smell of frying chicken in one of his
neighbors house.“Haki ya mama sikuelewa
venye huyu buda gamu hivi angenunua kuku
kila siku… bibi na watoto hata walianza
kumetameta,” he said.
So he did his investigation and discovered that
actually, the neighbour in the adjacent block
was using his kid to access his balcony and
pinch his birds. To do this, he used the
connecting hanging lines, the ones that you pull
like a pulley and he strung his young boy to the
strong one, rolled him into the ‘quail farm’ and
the kid would stock up for supper.
Very ingenious, if you ask me. When he found
out, the ‘farmer’ went berserk and confronted
the thieving neighbour with a club, ready to
break open his skull. Unfortunately, the
neighbour’s woman is of very generous
proportion and she and the husband teamed up
to beat the daylights out of the hapless farmer.
“Yaani wanaiba ndege zangu ndio wapate
nguvu ya kunichapa, haki ya mama…” the man
swore, amid sobs. Apart from a broken jaw, a
dislocated shoulder and three missing teeth, he
was generally okay.
Even if he wasn’t, he would be in worse trouble
because his landlord, who happens to be me, is
going to close is apartment immediately. He
argued that he could not read my memos
against animal husbandry because none was in
a language he understood but mostly, because
he cannot read in the first place.
It also emerged that the national wildlife
custodians, the Kenya Wildlfe Services (KWS)
are likely to get interested in his project, since
they had not licensed him to keep the birds. I
will tell you how this one pans out… The writer
is a housing developer who probably owns the
house you live in.

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