Hierarchy on the streets

I went down to the streets early one morning. A large plastic container of Dal Bhat in hand along with some breads and small cakes. Wrapped up in heavy down trekking jackets the long faced boy stared angrily at me while clutching at a bag of solvent.

Street Children feeding a dog in Kathmandu
Street Children feeding a dog in Kathmandu

Huffing at the bag his face was full of concentration. He then saw the container of food and pounced on it.

The others stirred.

There was a hierarchy at work here. The long faced boy had become a group leader it seemed. The others waited for his command. Each child with their own small bag of glue.

I handed him a pile of A4 paper as plates. He handed them out to the others. Then digging his hands into the rice he scooped up as much as he could before he poured the dal sloppily over a makeshift plate.

The groups two dogs lapped up the spilled soup from the pavement as the other boys dug into the container. Each knowing their pecking order and the appropriate portion they could take.

That is until some of the younger one’s argued over the remains. It was now the long faced boy snapped an order at them. And with that the fight ended.

He looked at me and the remaining bag of chocolate cakes I had. He pulled at the bag. I held it back and looked around to see if everyone had eaten. He muttered something to me and then laughed with the others.


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