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Juliet, die Vinnigste Slak

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7


Sagte klokke lui weer. Dis wegspringtyd!

Marli gee nou glad nie meer om of iemand haar sien nie: "Juliet, jy moet hol, liefie. Ek belowe ek soek vir jou 'n Romeo as ons by die huis kom, dan bly julle in die tuin tot julle kleinkinders kry. Seblief, ek smeek jou. Wen. Toe, loop nou, die pienk stokkie is presies dieselfde een waarmee ons geoefen het in die huis. Hardloop, Juliet. Hardloop!"

Ruan, Pappa en Mamma skreeu die heel hardste. Hulle swaai hulle arms en al drie van hulle se helder pienk T- Hemde met die naam ‘Juliet' op gedruk, maar 'n muur van ondersteuners in pienk.  Marli le met haar pienk hemp plat op die grond in Laan 8 langs Juliet – wat sowaar vorentoe begin kruip. Stadig maar seker. Met die hulp van die pienk stokkie hou sy koers ook: vorentoe.

Die pienk span juig. Die pienk span maak 'n Mexikaanse golf en roep: "J U L I E T, Juliet, J U L I E T, Juliet . . ." Dit klink of hulle maande geoefen het. Die naam Juliet klink soos 'n kreet, dit begin met ‘Juuuu'. Dan word die klank harder en die ‘Lie-het' is kort en uitbundig. Dit is so 'n lekker uitroep dat van die ander mense in die skare dit ook begin sing-roep. Juliet!

 
•7•
Soft bells are ringing again. It is time to start!

Marli does not care at all anymore if someone sees her: "Juliet, you better run, my love. I promise I will look for a Romeo for you when we get home, then you live in the garden till you have grand kids. Please, I am begging you. Win. C'mon, walk now. This pink stick is the very same one that we practiced with at home. Run, Juliet. Run!"

Ruan, Dan and Mom are shouting the loudest. They wave their arms and all three of their bright pink shirts have the name ‘Juliet' printed; a wall of supporters in pink.  Marli lies down wither her pink shirt on the ground next to track 8, next to Juliet – who is surprisingly starting to crawl forwards. Slow but steady. With the help of the pink stick she keeps in the right direction: forwards.

The pink team cheers. The pink team makes a Mexican wave and shout: "J U L I E T, Juliet, J U L I E T, Juliet . . ." It sounds as if they have been practicing for months. The name Juliet sounds like a slogan, it starts with ‘Juuuu". Then the sound gets louder and the ‘Lie-het' is short and pithy. It is such a cool call that even the other people in the crowd also start to sing. Juliet!

 

8


Juliet wen!

Sy is heel eerste oor die wenstreep na sy 'n volle meter geloop het. Die skare juig en die pienkspan jubel, druk mekaar vas. Hou aan met lag toe hulle hoor hoe die skare nog steeds Juliet se naam uitbasuin. Kameras flits en 'n televisiestasie vra 'n onderhoud met elkeen van die gesin.

Die man met die groot mikrofoon vra: "Wat gaan julle met die wengeld doen?"

Marli sê: "Ek kry die helfte van die wengeld en my ma die res. Ek wil 'n pienk Nano-Ipod koop en dit wat oorbly vir my boetie Ruan gee: sodat hy kan spaar om ook een van die dae een te kan koop."

Die skare sug: "Aahh. Ag, maar dis mooi van jou," en iemand pik 'n traan weg. Net daar gee die TV stasie vir Marli en Ruan elkeen 'n Nano. Voor mens kan sê Juliet.

Ma Jana sê: "Ek wil 'n tafeltennis tafel koop, sodat ons as gesin in die aande saam kan speel as dit so baie reen hier in Vancouver." Dis die eerste woord wat Marli daarvan hoor.

Die skare sug weer: "Aahh. Ag maar dis mooi van jou," en iemand pik weer 'n traan weg. Net daar gee 'n koerant vir hulle die tafeltennis tafel voor mens kan sê Romeo.

Die man met die groot mikrofoon vra vir Marli: "Wat gaan julle nou met die wengeld doen?"

"My Ouma Joh moet kom kuier, ons sal dan amper genoeg geld hê, ons spaar al 'n jaar." En vinniger as wat mens kan se mes, skenk iemand die res van die geld. Mits hulle al vier en Ouma Joh op TV sal verskyn om die storie te vertel. In pienk. Saam met Juliet.

Twee maande later oppad TV-ateljee toe, met sy pienk hemp aan, verklaar Ruan nonchalant: "Ek het tog geweet julle gaan wen." Ma knipoog vir Marli. Die pienk-span stap laggend by die voordeur uit. Ouma Joh dra die slakke: Juliet en haar Romeo is knus in hulle nuwe pienk huisie. Reg vir die Uit-Stappie.

- Audrey Painter 2009

 
•8•
Juliet wins!

She is the first over the finishing line after she walked a whole meter. The crowd cheers and the pink team celebrates, hugging each other. Continuing to laugh as they hear the crowd still shout out the name Juliet. Cameras flash and a television station asks for an interview with each one of the family.

The man with the microphone asks: "What are you going to do with the prize money?"

Marli says: "I get half of the money and my mom gets the rest. I want to buy a pink Nano-IPod and whatever remains I will give to my brother, Ruan: so that he can save to be able to also buy one, soon."

The crowd sighs: "Ohh? Oh, but that is so nice of you," and someone wipes a tear. Right there the TV station gives a Nano to both Marli and Ruan. Before you could even say Juliet.

Mom Jana says: "I want to buy a ping-pong table, so that we can play together as a family in the evenings when it rains so much here in Vancouver." This is the first word that Marli has heard of this.

The crowd sighs again: "Ohh? Oh, this is nice of you," and again someone wipes a tear. Right there the newspaper gives them a ping-pong table before you could say Romeo.

The man with the big microphone ask of Marli: "So what are you now going to do with the prize money?"

"My grandma Joh has to come visit, we will the have nearly enough money, we have been saving for a year." And before you could say knife, someone donates the rest of the money, only if all four of them will appear on TV to tell the story. In pink. With Juliet.

Two months later, on the way to the studio, in his pink shirt, Ruan declares casually: "Oh well, I just knew you were going to win." Mom winks at Marli. The pink team leaves the front door laughing. Grandma Joh carries the slugs: Juliet and Romeo are snug in their new pink house. Ready for the Outing.