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Kunama 1960

Literary Contributions /
My First Attempt at Writing in Ink

I first attempted to write in ink a couple of weeks after I had started Fourth Class. Everybody entered the classroom that day armed with pens, ink, blotter. spare nibs and everyone buzzed with questions. Who would be the best ink writer? Would it be easy? Would we be smudgers? Of course we did not use our exercise books to start with.

Usually our first lesson was Arithmetic, but today it was Writing. There was a clatter of tops as we opened our ink, then, I remember very carefully dipping my pen into that beautiful bluey black fluid. I envied the pen as it was a hot day and I would love to be in that ink well. The first thing that happened was for the nib to fall off right into the bottle of ink. I left it there thinking I could fish it out at home. I regretted that I left it there afterwards because I forgot it and in a few days the ink had turned a rather awful colour. I then replaced the nib and again went through the above process.

I actually reached the paper and wrote my first two letters in ink without a blot or smudge. I then dipped again but, alas, a small drip of ink dropped off my pen and landed smack in the middle of the page. I hastily applied the blotter which made it worse. By the time I had finished the page it had approximately ten blots. and every seventh or eighth word was smudged. Two people had knocked over ink and our teacher was in despair.

By the end of the day we thought we had mastered the art of writing. but much to my surprise my mother thought I had been puddling in ink, judging by my hands.

After a few weeks I managed to omit half the smudges and blots. Now after three years of ink writing I can manage to omit nearly all blots and smudges.

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