The Dark Child Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Camara Laye's earliest memories revolve around his father's forge. What is the forge? What happens there? What does Camara do there?

The forge is Camara's father's workshop. It is a busy place, for Laye's father is known far and wide for his superior skills as a blacksmith. Parents send their sons to him as apprentices, and customers come every day requesting delicate mechanisms, tools, and even jewelry. Some linger around the shop just to watch him work. Laye enjoys crouching in a corner of the workshop to see the comings and goings and to watch the fire blazing. He also listens to the sounds of anvils and customers while there.

2. Camara remembers seeing a snake for the first time and being fascinated with its glittering eyes. What does he do to the snake, and what happens next?

Camara offers a reed to the snake. The snake takes the bait and the boy's fingers are nearly consumed before his father notices the danger and sweeps the little boy off his feet and away from the danger. Camara's mother shrieks, and a few hard slaps follow.

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