Today Barnaby thought he’d get Anna something nice for her birthday. He’d noticed that she hadn’t been getting her usual booze ration recently, what with spending so much time in Muslim countries. He didn’t have any money to buy any, but recently he’d heard the villagers here in Tengrela (in Burkina Faso) talking about a special kind of wine they get from the trees.
This seemed unlikely, but in the early morning he climbed up a ronier palm tree to have a look – and found a big calabash full of juice. It didn’t look much like wine, but when he had a taste he realised it was already fermenting and just a bit alcoholic, although very fresh-tasting – a bit like fresh coconut juice. Delicious!
So he settled down with a bottle to wait for her to finish cooking (Awa was teaching her how to make pea beignets and peanut sweet potatoes – yum). But after a couple of hours waiting, he was really quite thirsty, and thought he should just check the palm wine was still OK.
And a good thing he did! It had been fermenting all day, and was much stronger now. She probably wouldn’t like the strong taste, he thought – much safer just to drink it.