It was raining cats and dogs. Fortunately we were in
a car and my uncle, who was driving, had the situation
We passed slowly by an oil-palm estate. The driving
rain made visibility poor. So my uncle drove very carefully.
He had all the lights on. So did the other drivers. I could
make out little blobs of light on the other cars through the
white sheet of rain.
Overhead, black clouds hovered ominously. It felt
as though they were about to fall on us at any moment.
Lightning streaked across the sky and onto the distant
hills. The ensuing thunder rumbled unceasingly. Some
flashes of lightning came uncomfortably close and the
resulting thunderclap was deafening, even with all our
All of a sudden a bright flash of light blinded us and
a very loud crack made me lose my bearings. The next
thing I knew was that my uncle had stopped the car and his
face was pale with shock. I too was in shock. What had
For a long agonising moment I struggled to collect
my scattered wits. Then my uncle pointed a trembling
finger at something outside the car. I looked in the direction and saw an oil-palm some ten metres away literally
split in half through the middle. It was scorched black and
smoking. I then realised that it had just been struck by
If the lightning had struck us instead, we would be
scorched black and smoking too. Still trembling, my uncle
quickly drove away from the danger zone. We had just had a close brush with
death. It was close, too close for comfort.