December 24, 2021 at 10:02 am #1497505Jessica DuruParticipant
The people of Umuonta were thrilled when the land knew water again. It had been years since the last rain fell. Several consultations proved the land was cursed.
The day it had rained, a child was born, in a hut not so far from the king’s palace. He laid in the queen’s arms; the happy mother filled with joy. “Now I have a son,” he looked to where his mother—one of the maids she had given to the king—laid without breath. “Throw her in the evil forest!” she said to the guards, not blinking twice.
The queen had yearned for a child of her own, but was unable to conceive. Calling Olamma to assist despite the king’s refusal, she was able to have a child of her own—an heir for the king. “Your Highness!”
King Ahaeze marveled, seeing the child has been born.
“He is here.”
A feast was thrown to celebrate his birth.
Prince Iheanacho grew up to be just like his father. He looked nothing like the queen, but had his mother’s heart. At age ten, he could do some things kids his age couldn’t do.
“Obi, the meat you requested for… is here.” The small boy said to his father’s hearing. He had overheard the king tell Dante, one of the finest hunters in the land, to go into the forest.
Ijetu was known to be the home of really wild animals. Despite this, the little prince had gone and returned unharmed.
“May the gods forbid!” Lolo entered, staring at the child. “My prince, what have we here?” she looked at the wild meat, and back at her son.
“A meat for Your Highness, dearest mother,” he said not like the child he was, presenting the meat. “Father—” he called out with arms outstretched.
The villagers wondered what kind of a child the queen had birthed. He would sit among the elders and contribute when they talked. His wisdom was one they marveled at.
“You are right, my prince.” this you would hear when he spoke.
The queen was starting to get jealous of the boy. He wasn’t her biological son, this made her even angrier. She devised a plan to kill him, asking the maids to prepare his favourite—onugbu soup.
“Let me see how he will talk after eating this food.” She grinned at a job well done after poisoning the food.
Unknowingly to her, the village drunkard was watching from the tree behind the hut. The udala tree was the perfect spot to view everything that was going on inside. The queen thinking she had succeeded, left to call the prince, and met him in the king’s chambers.
“My King, tell me how the lion became the king of the jungle,”
The wicked queen made her presence known. “You never cease to amaze me, my prince.” she said and stretched out her arms.
The king beamed with all smiles. “He is indeed his father’s son,” he remarked.
Prince Iheanacho smiled, hearing his father praise.
“Your food is ready.” Queen Uchenna announced.
The king and his wife walked out of the hut, the little prince leading the way.
A haggard-looking man appeared from nowhere—a bottle held in the air, with a chewing stick stuck in his mouth. “You… can n-not eat that food—”
The wicked queen called to the palace guards.
“My prince!” the haggard-looking fellow clasped the prince’s hands.
“Do not touch him!” Queen Uchenna pulled the prince away. “How dare you match into my den?”
“Can’t you see he is drunk?” the king spoke at last.
“Mother, what is happening?”
The queen forced a smile.
“Your mo-mother has poisoned the food.”
The wicked queen roared. “That’s a lie!”
“Say the truth or you shall die—” a voice came from nowhere, and the wicked queen fell.
“Eei! I will confess—” an invisible cane came on her back. “I said I will confess na!” she yelled to everyone’s surprise.
“My queen!” King Ahaeze was baffled, and his son not left out.
“Mother, why are you shouting?”
Queen Uchenna shouted again, and said, “I will confess.” she began telling them how she had poisoned the prince’s food and what had happened nine years ago.
“Ah!” the king placed his hands on his head. “Uchenna, i meela—”
The queen started vomiting, and then died at the spot.
Prince Iheanacho grew into a fine young man. He was crowned king when the right time came, and like his father, he ruled…
*THE END*December 24, 2021 at 10:03 am #1497506Jessica DuruParticipant
MOTHER OF SNAKES
“Pụọ n’ụzọ. Nwanyi Ide na abịa. Nwanyi Ide na abịa e!”
The children said this whenever they saw the priestess coming.
Her name was Ide. A woman in her thirties. She could communicate with snakes and understand their nature. The young priestess learnt of her abilities when she was a child. She was only ten. Then a snake had appeared in their drum—it was strange because such has never happened before.
The compound was clean, and the grasses all cleared. Her parents wondered how the snake had gotten into their drum.
“This is strange—”
Ide whose name was Adaugo at that time, had picked up the snake and carried it in her arms.
“Adaugo!” it was her mother’s voice.
“Adaugo, keep that snake!” her father found no better thing to say.
The snake was hissing as Adaugo was staring at it, as it made wild curves and slithered out of her hand.
She had heard it clearly—“Thank you.” she had thought she was dreaming.
“Nna yi, this is not ordinary. How can one lift a snake without fearing?”
She had overheard her parents talking when they were over the ‘snake’ shock.
“Mm. I am afraid we must see Nwanyi Iga.” her father had said.
She replayed the incident in her head, seeing the snake once more. The way her father killed it made her shudder and jump with fear.
“It is time.” her father’s voice drowned her thoughts away.
She hadn’t noticed when they opened the door. Seeing her mother come out alongside, she knew she was going to Nwanyi Iga’s.
“You must leave her here. She is a daughter of the gods—” the high priestess said to their hearing.
“Ewo! I am finished!” Obidiya fell on the mat, while her husband held onto her.
“But isn’t there something we can do?” Azuka, Adaugo’s father sought.
“You cannot disobey the gods!”
Adaugo’s parents left, their child left in the care of the priestess.
Adaugo grew up to be powerful, daring, and with special powers.
Aside he fact she could talk to snakes, she could also heal and do miraculous works.
“My daughter—” Nwanyi Iga called one day.
“Mm, mama,” Adaugo replied.
“You can see that I am not getting younger. Someone would need to step in when I am gone…”
“Ah-ah, mama. You know how I will just bring your back if something like that happens.” she laughed.
Nwanyi Iga was not smiling.
Adaugo knew she had crossed the line. “Eh, mama,” she made to divert her mind. “Why have the gods chosen me among all the maidens? Am I really that special?” she thought for a while before she continued. “Why do I have the power to talk to snakes? Clearly, that has never been recorded before.”
Nwany Iga drew the mortar beside and got to pounding the medicine she had kept inside. “There are some things you need not question the gods, Ide.”
Adaugo was stunned, remembering where she had heard the name:
It was in a dream. In it, she was battling an enormous snake, which had wanted to bit her for reasons she didn’t know.
A woman had appeared from nowhere. Her face was not clear—and hidden away in the light. Adaugo had wanted to know who she was, but was back in her room, with her face beaded with sweat.
“Your food is in the kitchen, Ide,” Nwanyi Iga focused on the pounding.
Adaugo smiled, realizing it was the woman that had saved her.
She took up the name and let it dwell with her. Though she knew not what it meant, she thought it powerful and made it known, that the people began calling her ‘MOTHER OF SNAKES’.December 25, 2021 at 6:14 am #1497572GraceParticipant
Nice storiesDecember 27, 2021 at 4:29 pm #1497671σиєαℓ32Participant
wowJanuary 1, 2022 at 7:59 am #1497619Ant manGuest