By Zulumathabo Zulu © 2017
He breaks the perimeter
Like, a ferocious eater
Unperturbed by transgressions
Unafraid, of lethal injections
He embraces his mission
Uninstructed by physical urges
Unmindful of inherent risks
He forges the manifesto
Despite defamed hitherto
To scale the vertical, like combat
Like Mighty Legend of the Rat
Hitherto, a formidable defence
Hereafter, to advance with reverence
Despite despicable perceptions
Despite death warrants upon him
Despite harsh punishment visited
He inspects the syntactical
To advance the tactical
Sniffing for weak links in the chain
When the great Mosotho mother, Matseleng, demonstrated her metal pot, I was unprepared for what I saw. She drew my attention to the metal lid which had a number of depressions as if perforated by some steel or drill. She explained to me those were the markings of the teeth of a rat. I couldn’t believe this. Some animal teeth able to make deep pits on a metal surface was incredible.
I began to think that the teeth are made out of calcium. I remembered the intellectual heavyweight who gave us the periodic law and the periodic table and none other than the great chemist and legend Dmitri Mendeleev of Russia. He is an erudite ancestor of all humanity who has gone before us.
I looked numerously and religiously through the periodic table during my student years. The table was organized like a matrix with rows and columns but not using the terminology of a normal table. The rows were the periods and the columns were the groups. The rows were organized according to periodicity while the columns were organized according to mutual similarity.
The table was broken into three sections namely (1) metals, (2) nonmetals and (3) inert gases. Metals occupy the left side of the periodic table, while the non-metals occupy the right side of the table. The exception in this case is the hydrogen which is a non-metal but located on the left side with the metals.
Now the next order of business was to locate calcium in the table in terms of the three above mentioned sections of the periodic table. To achieve that, we needed to locate the group and period intersection of the element. Looking at the periodic table, calcium appeared in group 2 and period 4. The location of calcium in this section meant it was a metal. Did you know that?
The experience got even more interresting. In the case of Matseleng and her pot, the calcium was stronger than metal because instead of the teeth of the rat breaking, it is the metal that broke.
Human teeth are also made from calcium but they succumb to the corrosive power of candy; what more about metal? I then discovered another important fact and that is molecular arrangement. The geometric property of the teeth of the rat is superior to that of human teeth.
Hitherto, the rat was a bottom feeder. Hereafter, the profile of the rat is now enhanced by the periodic table of chemistry. Thokoza Makhosi!