Skip to main content

"He knows the map of where he walks on his head though he cannot(rather said he couldn't) see them.".A CLIP FROM AN AVERAGE AFRICAN OLD MAN.



He walks slowly (slower) than a snail.
He was journeyed to the site on a rickety Bajaj, his rickety self being an old man and one of the young boys in his early thirties brought him. They'd just wanted to share the land their ancestors left, and the old man has told my father 
"I will not come. You are there, Kayode is there, my son is the surveyor so I don't need to come."

He'd said. When he showed up, it was astoundingly shocking.
The sun had been fighting with our skins and we'd buried our head under a shade, but now that the surveyor has brought the old man, we cannot allow him to walk under a naked sun.

"Go and bring an umbrella, don't run as you often do, the brake isn't okay."
I was told. I rode home and came back in a jiffy not minding the weak brake.

I was enjoined to place the umbrella and walk him through the 28 acres of land as they share the land. So I smiled and moved close to him. I saw him moving his leg as if it was ordered by a doctor checking the response of his weak patient. I placed the umbrella on his head. I wanted to cover his body so I lifted the umbrella off my own head, the sun became wild on me because I was perchance a fool. Perhaps.

They walked through the bush, we saw the first three division allocated to one of a family together. Baba was there, listening to them.
When you have agile people, do not compare them to the fragile ones.

I thought he would walk like them but his slow motion is tiring.

I was shocked when he said the space looks as if they've built  houses there, I said "no, the bushes grew their houses there."

He is not blind, he just can't see.
"I cannot come to this farm alone, I'll get lost."
He said.
"Why will you need to come, Baba?"

This time, the beneficiaries and representatives of each families have gone with the Surveyor which was one of Baba's son.

"Isn't there a palm tree here?
There is a tree here, isn't it?"

He asked suddenly, I was quite  shocked but... This is his land, he knows how the bush was structured and where the trees had grown even without his full afternoon eye. His sense is sharper than the efficacy of a serpent's venom.
"Yes, there is."
I finally muttered after a long thought. It seems weird to me.
I muttered silently as I walked him on broken stumps and...

"raise your leg a bit, Baba. Move close to my side; come near me, you're walking in the bush.
Lift your rod, let me help you.

Wait, let me cut this entangled bush that has made a rope on your shoes, you could fall down.
Baba wait, let me move closer to the bush while you walk on this plain land.
Baba, you're walking in the bush. Be patient, let me clear the road"

I said consecutively.
"My left leg his weak"

He chuckled.
At times, he would stretch his hand to the front, trying to hold a tree for support.
"Baba, I'm here."

I've always hold him either at his hand, or behind him; my hand around him.
I was tired. The man cannot see yet he came to a  desecrated bush, it's frustrating but I'll be responsible for anything, he is the eldest and oldest surviving son of his father/family.
There are times I wanted to push him, I'd wanted to carry him. There was a time he had his shoes stuck in an entangled bush, I've told him to always lift up his leg but this time, he was trapped already. Those we're following are far from us, they're moving, never tired, but Baba was tired, so am I, but he kept walking at least to hear their voices.
I'd thought, "this is likely what happens when a father doesn't trust the work his sons and daughters will do. If he trusts them, he should know that they'll share the land accurately, so why the unnecessary stress of an old man? He's old already, what does a pregnant woman needs that cannot be provided by a rich husband?"
He was trapped in the bush, he wanted to fall. The umbrella I held in my hand, I placed it on his head and I sweep my other hand around him...trust me, I was shocked. He regained stamina the first time, he staggered on same spot again, he staggered thrice. My heart became a mortar where I'd pounded yam on Sunday. My hands was shaking, really shaking with fear and my spirit was softly unfeeling to the moment. What can I do? I cannot leave him.
He stood defenseless and sighed. I couldn't hear that but I saw him looking at the front as if some forces are coming — he looks at the front and holds his chest.

So we journeyed again, to move closer to where they are. But these people are something else, the closer we move, the far they seem to us. There was a time I couldn't hear their voices, they were as that far yet Baba wants to hear everything; who owns the first 3 division, the second 3 division and the....but the surveyor is his son, why the unnecessary stress?!
I questioned my mind.

"You are doing a great job. You have come to do a great job today."

I chuckled when I heard it.

"Isn't there a tree here?

"Yes, there is, Baba."

"This is the boundary of the first family. They've gone up, right?"

"Yes."

He knows the map of where he walks on his head though he cannot(rather said he couldn't) see them. He asked many times,

"isn't there a maize being planted here?"

I said "NO" as often time as he asks, I see nothing but dry maize and fresh cassavas.

We trailed them but we couldn't get them. I got tired.
Baba carried his leg slower than a new baby, I still questioned myself his reason for coming.
We walked the Israelites' journey and we resolved to go back to where we'd left initially.
I was actually taken to the site to know the allocated site for my father/my family but the work I went there to do is the hardest and weakest work to do — leading an old man who has lost his afternoon eye in a thick bush is a great deal.
He told me something, he said,
"the lady I called Odunola, she brought the Fulani's to one of the farms I gave her and they burnt all my fruits; my cashews...everything.
I came to halt any kind of quarrel she might arouse because she is impatient and could cause rancour at any slight sight of displeasure to her elders' judgement. If I choose to look at the rain in its gentleness and I do not close my window, it will wet my bed unaware."

Baba said.

"Have we reached the tall tree by my right hand side?"

"Yes. There is as well a planted cassava here."

"No maize?"

"No maize."

As I hold his hand occasionally or throw my hand across his bending back, I'll either move him forward or want to push him but his aged sweat streaming from his shoulder and his body consumes me.


"I'm sorry, I don't have any ill towards you, Baba."

I'd always said that in my mind.
Even when old men are old and cannot see, they cherish their eye than death, yet, they do not want the wrong to be wrong. His preoccupation on sharing the land has been changed but what can he  do?

 "if these professors says they'll do it their way, that's how it will be done."

He said as we walked back.
We walked to where we'd started walking, we saw the other people coming out from the bush where we'd at least expected, they'd toured round and round and had shared the land. It is soothing to him when my father said 

"we have shared it without quarrels. Your prayers are answered."

I still held him near, but he didn't know me.

Years ago, when he could see and walk alone, he called me "Baba kunkulu" meaning, "short man" because I was young. And in my naivety, I often call him same name and he would laugh but this time, old age has taken it all.
My father told me, I'd just took an Eighty Seven years old man to a thick bush and back without dragging him nor has he complained of any sort of mistreatment...

But Baba forgot to pray for me when he was leading his closing prayer before he was taken home. but his soul had blessed me already.


"words from the innocent mind"
Akinwale Peace Akindayo
Philip Peace

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Read the story. TEARS IN MY EYES

BOOK PUBLISHED: TEARS IN MY EYES by OLOLADE AKINLABI IGE.GENRE: NOVELLA

Synopsis.

                     TEARS IN MY EYES     The anxiety for sex prompted the award winning and young Nigerian poet (Ololade Akinlabi Ige) to sharpen the keen mouth of his pen to write the novella: TEARS IN MY EYES. This is a book for everyone to read.
The pains and agony the main character in the novella went through were meant to awake the conscience of the wicked being. 

     Ariyo is a beautiful lady. Eyes cannot deny that. She is a product of rape but she leaves behind her worries knowing fully well that the world is good for no one. But she feels it is very stupid if she eventually falls victim of what led her to life. She tries to always avoid intimate relationship with boys because she knows quite well that boys often come with different missions in which most of the time their common mission is sex, sex and sex.
     But we are all human being, this heart needs a companion. So it is for Ariyo who uncons…

A GLIMPSE INTO THE TWO WORLD | John Kelechi Uzoma

A GLIMPSE INTO THE TWO WORLDS

A quick look into the deep well,
  I saw the cloud swimming.
Smiles had blown up my cheeks
  whilst quite stable stood my feet.


Again, I saw the eagle in the well,
   flapping its wings but drowned not,
A huge fear hugged my statue,
   yet, I stood as one being halted.


Quickly, as I looked upon the sky,
  i saw gallons of smokes racing,
As i slept in mute just to imagine,
   my head swelled so high.


Then, I walked off the well side,
  terrible could be life after life,
But life after death, is like feathers...
   logging into the mud for ages.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



JOHN KELECHI UZOMA fondly called Kelly Juuz is the founder of Nigerian Elites World(since 2012) on Facebook, for all literary activities and promotions. He has written a lot of poems, stories(published and unpublished), motivational and inspirational articles,  published on several websites and blogs around the world. He houses more  academical awards, talent titles, such as; secondary school teacher, a radio broadca…

THE LOCAL HENS AND THE CHICKENS | FABLE

FABLE 1

THE LOCAL HENS AND THE CHICKENS.
Once upon a time, a woman has a big store for her chickens. The chickens are so big that they give big and good eggs everytime they release eggs. The woman fed them so much that they were weighty even after releasing eggs.
One day, a customer brought some local hens to her, she said
"Try them, they are also good hens. They give big eggs as well. You'll enjoy keeping and feeding them."

The woman collected them and added them with his chickens. The chickens and the local hens stayed together in a place.
One day, the woman gave them the normal food they eat, as the chickens pecked their food moderately, the local hens scattered it with their legs as they peck, they scattered it around and peck, they did that till they liter the whole place.
Mother hen looked at the chickens,
"We're the same now, we eat the same food. We will yield the same eggs, we will be on the postal too."
The chickens flap their feathers feebly and rested th…