Fear is Nothing

Fear is Nothing

Fear is nothing

I was five when my grand-mother taught me about courage. It was quiet in the village. Everyone was asleep. The stars were shining above the hut. After mama told me stories about our forefathers, I fell into a deep seep. A lion entered the hut. He showed me his crows. I could smell his strong breath. Fear paralysed me. I couldn’t move. I screamed. When I woke up, mama was by my side.

– Onika, kini? Omo mi my child, what is wrong? She asked me.
– Mama. I can’t tell you. It was too scarry.
Mama insisted:
– So fu mi! Tell me!
– I saw a big lion. He was huge and had big teeth. He was in the hut facing me.
Mama didn’t look surprised. She shrugged.
– Is that all? She asked
– Yes; I replied feeling ashamed.
– My child go back to sleep.

Before the sun rose my grand-mother woke me up vigorously.
– We are going to chase the lion from your dream . Sho Bow? – She declared triumphantly.
– Iya, oh! Mo da ran. Do you want my death? Mo fe lo. You go and chase that lion. I will wait for you here.
Mama was known for her wisdom but at that moment I had strong doubts about it and thought that she must have lost her mind.
She took me firmly by the arm and dragged me to the bush in spite of my cries and resistance.
When we got to the bush she took me by the ears as if to open them.
– Bow row mi omo. My child look over there, see the lion that is sleeping, he probably hasn’t eating in days because of the dry season; she said flashing her white teeth at me.
She carried on with her hands on her hips:
– We are the children of Olowruoba. We are from the Yoruba tribe; a tribe of conquerors that fear nothing. Go and tell the lion that he should never again disturb you. Fear is nothing! Have courage my child!

I was terrified and couldn’t move. Mama pushed me out of my hiding. The lion saw me. He got up and approached me. I could feel his breath just like in my dream. He was getting ready to have his breakfast when mama suddenly came out of her hiding. She was transformed and looked just as ferocious as the lion. Her legs which were stocky and strong stood the ground firmly. Her two hands rested on her hips.
She spoke to the lion with such a fierce authority:
– Why are you disturbing my child? Ishe bu ru ku ki lo she?
The lion left me alone and turned his attention to my grand-mother. He was roaring with rage and showing his huge crows.
Mama carried on unimpressed:
– We are the children of Oloruoba and we fear nothing because our ancestors guard us.
The lion was angered. He looked as if he could attack mama anytime.
Mama spoke again tapping her right hand on her chest robustly like warriors.
– Let that be the last time for you lion.

From that day on, I looked at my grand-mother as a strange human being because she had fought the lion with words and had won.
Today, when I walk past a lion, my head is held up high with pride because I now know that strength is within us if we choose to use it.

Harmonie Loko (Sade Farotade)

14 thoughts on “Fear is Nothing” by sadefarotade (@sadefarotade)

  1. When you walk past a lion??? Wow! this is one incredible story!

  2. Love the message at the end. I guess its time i use my own strenght.

  3. I can see your attempt to write a yoruba based fantasy. But I want to ask, are you sure this is yoruba? The yoruba lines in your story don’t seem accurate. Unless you have a reference somewhere, I think you need to be careful in your use of elements that have an original backgrounds

    1. I had the same misgivings when I read her initial works but I think since a lot of dialects of a language exist; its likely we don’t recognise it because its not what we know.

  4. Sade, you obviously have an affinity for traditional tales of wisdom and you seek to teach same by writing. However, heaven knows I didn’t get the hang of anything in this except that I will continue to hold on to my belief to sprint, should a lion cross my path. But girl, good for you!

  5. i am sure you were trying to pass a message here but i didn’t really get that message and like the others said,i wondered if u were using yoruba.
    you should watch out for typos cos i am sure you meant EATEN when u wrote EATEN.

  6. @Abby.u are funny but i’m sure you wont be coming across any stray lion unless you wander alone into an unguarded zoo.abi?

    1. Hen Paul, in this world full of surprises, the unexpected is to be expected oh. I have also realised that half the time when we claim to be expecting the unexpected, we aren’t quite ready for what life dishes up to us.

  7. sorry typo.
    i meant EATING and EATEN.

  8. beautiful short folktale, too short for me though.

  9. As an aside, the MC’s grandmother must have some sort of mandate to pass on some wisdom by fire by force. The grandmother is definitely not to be fooled around with.

  10. I kinda agree with the others.. you probably used some other yoruba dialect which we do not recognise.

    But hey! message passed. Fear is nothing! well done.

  11. I love ethnic folktales and the injection of vernacular. However I think when writing it is advisable to use the central Yoruba dialect as opposed to a lesser known dialect that is difficult to interpret.
    Permit me to highlight a few typos and suggest some minor corrections. The eaten/eating has been mentioned. Others I noticed are:
    a deep seep-sleep
    He showed me his crows- did you mean claws?
    It was too scarry- I’m guessing you meant scary
    huge crows???
    robustly like warriors- either like warriors do, or like a warrior
    Incredible as this tale is , I love the moral of the story. I enjoyed this.

  12. mendel martha (@ihenyengladysusile)

    a nice story line,his grandmother has so much boldness maybe she used charm on the the lion or two of them are friends they just wanted to help him out with the fear thing, but eh as for me, if ever i see a lion eh the way i will take to my heels ehh even the world’s fastest man [bolt] go no say e no reach.na joke ooo

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