Mma Nuru hurried down the dark dirt roads with such speed and purpose that her head scarf
had all but unravelled by the time she reached the little shop.
Catching her breath, she compared the time on her watch to the hours posted on the
Convenience Store window.
ʻBotswana Bobʼs Emporium
Hours of Operation: 10 pm to 5 am
Open 7 Nights a Weekʼ
Excellent, it was not quite five oʼclock, she was in time.
The rusty bell on the door jingled as she entered the dimly lit shop. At the cash was the owner,
Rra Bob, waiting, waiting, always waiting for the next “Customer.”
“Mma Nuru, welcome! I often see you after dark, through your house window, busily working in
your kitchen, but you have never come to see me till now.” He eyed the plump woman up and
down, drooling ever so slightly.
“Greetings to you Rra Bob. No, I have not until this moment needed your services but I have run
out of corn meal for my childrenʼs breakfast and they will be up soon for school.”
“I have corn meal Mma, please follow me.”
Rra Bob led her to the back of the store but as she picked the packet off the shelf and turned to
go there was Rra Bob, his long neck craned low so that he and she were face to face, his
massive wings fully stretched, blocking her exit.
Rra Bobʼs evil smile widened. Slowly he opened his beak to reveal two long, pearly white, fangs.
Mma Nuru knew at once, Rra Bob was a VAMPIRE!
What to do, what to do? She glanced at her watch.
“Rra Bob,” blurted Mma Nuru, “I just remembered I need some sour milk to go with the
Now, Rra Bob loved money almost as much as blood, so why not get both at the same time? He
guided her to the dairy fridge.
“Also,” said Mma Nuru, “I could use some bread and butter for the childrenʼs tea and some
coffee if you have it.”
“Perhaps too Rra Bob, some hard candies as a treat, a half pound of goat meat and a small bag
Rra Bob and Mma Nuru went about the shop collecting the items, Mma Nuru nervously
checking her watch all the while.
As Rra Bob rang up the sale, Mma Nuru searched the horizon through the shopʼs window and
then, there it was, the sun, beginning itʼs rise over the Savannah.
Rra Bob felt the sunʼs warmth on his feathers, slowly he turned toward it and squinted at itʼs
“No, No, Nooooo,” cried Rra Bob and with that, he crumbled to the floor and was alive no more.
Mma Nuru looked at her watch, five twenty.
As she dragged Rra Bob through the dusty streets leading back to her home Mma Nuru smiled
and thought of how pleased her children would be when they found out that, instead of bread
and butter, there would be Ostrich for the evening meal.
© Christine Tripp 2013
About the AUTHOR:Christine Tripp is the Illustrator of, Penelope and the Humongous Burp, nominated for
the Ontario Blue Spruce Award, Penelope and the Monsters, also nominated and Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party.
She has Illustrated more then 50 Educational Titles, for Publishers such as Scholastic Canada & USA.
She lives with her husband Don and their bad dog “Jake”, in Ottawa Ontario.
Her 4 grown Children, their husbands and wife, and 8 Grandchildren live close by.
About the ILLUSTRATOR:
Peggy Collins is an award winning children's author/illustrator/crafty mama living in Forest Mills, Ontario. She has illustrated over 20 books for children for clients domestically and internationally - including Fitzhenry and Whiteside, Simon and Shuster, Scholastic and Red Robin Books. She is a mom of two, a college professor and has recently moved into a brand new studio built by her wonderful partner.
Peggy is a PAL member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), the Canadian Society of Children's Authors Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), the Picture Book Artists Association (PBAA) and the Canadian Children's Book Council (CCBC).