Chapter 7

  • Below ground, Tendai, Rita, and Kuda are all in a grungy compound with the vlei people.
  • This whole time, Tendai thought these tunnels beneath the city were empty, but there are swarms of people down here.
  • He thinks it's weird that they don't talk or sing while they are working, mining for plastic that the She Elephant can sell.
  • Kuda is scared, but Tendai promises him they'll get to go home soon. He hopes his little brother believes him.
  • The She Elephant brings them old, dingy clothes and tells one of her workers to sell the kids' stuff in the market.
  • She feeds them sadza (translation: a thick porridge). Tendai wants to refuse it to act like a tough warrior, but he's just too hungry.
  • He gobbles down the food, and it's actually pretty good. Rita, on the other hand, doesn't eat under protest.
  • She also calls the She Elephant fat and stupid. Yeah, Rita's not making friends anytime soon…
  • Too bad Kuda doesn't get the message. He loves the food and asks for seconds right away.
  • Just then, the vlei people creep up on the kids. They are all, "ooh, they are so pretty" and "poor babies" and it's a little weird.
  • The She Elephant barks at them to get back to work—immediately—or else she won't feed them dinner.
  • It's clear she runs a tight ship around there.

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