Prodigal Ambitions

Prodigal Ambitions

It was our first family vacation.

Our parents had been planning this getaway for months and we had been bragging about it to anyone who cared to listen – OUR FAMILY WAS GOING ON A CHRISTMAS VACATION.

7 of us stuffed ourselves into our Peugeot 505 station wagon, cramped with enough baggage to last us double the time we were expected to be there.

As the last born, I was really excited that for a whole week, there would be no Amala or ewedu; no Eba or Egusi; no washing of plates or sweeping of house; no weeping or wahala.

The three hour trip came to an end when we were heralded by the sprawling beauty that would be our home for the next 7 days. It was blissful sight.

This resort was a Rest Home, built and managed by some American missionaries somewhere in Plateau State. The chilled harmattan winds coupled with the aroma of coffee and gravy welcomed our all Nigerian family.

The Traffic to the Rest Home was unbelievable.

It could only accommodate about 25 families per time and Christmas time was high season.

I heard that my parents made our reservations 8 months before. Whatever!

We immediately checked into our respective chalets: parents in one, my sisters in another and my brothers in the third. Since I was only 10 years old, I had to stay with my parents. Sad!

The guest list was a racial potpourri: Asians, Europeans, Americans, Africans and Nigerians.

Meals were buffet style with free sitting arrangements, communal and tightly scheduled.

Breakfast:              7am – 8:30am

Lunch:                    12pm – 1:30pm

Tea Time:               3pm – 4pm

Dinner:                  6:30pm – 8pm

Cookie time:         9pm

Lunch was my best meal mainly because of the dessert. It comprised of an assortment of cakes and pies but the whipped cream topping was sinful; white, fluffy, creamy and cold. I always had more helpings despite my mother’s negative eye signals.

My parents who knew my weakness with sweets set the limits and warned me to behave myself. But since my parents also needed the rest, I stayed out of sight most of the day, playing with the other children, discovering the vast expanse that characterized the resort and waiting for lunch.

During one of those excursions, I noticed the Rest Home had a barn.

I walked in.

There were goats, rabbits, sheep, turkey and chickens. It looked more like a zoo

Then grunting sound broke my thought flow.

There she was – a pig.

This must have been the largest pig I had ever seen. She was so large, she couldn’t even stand.

She lay there while one attendant fed her with whipped cream and cake.

It was the most unbearable sight I had ever seen. Remnant or not, how could a pig, in Nigeria, be served with whipped cream? Nonsense!

Wasn’t this the same pig that humiliated the prodigal son in the bible; the same pig that housed the legion of demons that were cast out of the possessed guy?

I don’t remember how the words were phrased, but I asked the attendant if he was deliberately insulting humans or just being wasteful?

Without getting an answer, I ran out to tell my friends about this wasteful insult.

They didn’t think it was a big deal.

From that moment, my vacation took a new turn.

My mission statement was – to keep as much whipped cream away from this pig.

So, every afternoon, I devised a plan

Every afternoon, I failed.

First, I tried to set a trap for the dessert delivering attendant but I gave up when I realised Rest Homes didn’t need traps.

I also offered to help the attendant ferry the cream and planned to mistakenly pour it somewhere along the way. That also failed.

Then I tried to strangle the pig until I realised that mankind wasn’t worth the hassle.

Finally, logic finally saved the day.

I reasoned that if I could finish all the whipped cream during lunch, there wouldn’t be any left for Miss Piggy.

So at lunch, I ate as much dessert as I could.

After sorting myself, I would go for several more rounds, emptying the cream into a cellophane bag I had positioned under the table. I would then wait until everyone had left the dining, and then dispose the bag in the trash.

That was the plan – on paper.

In reality, my mother noticed that I was crossing the greed boundary and strolled over to my table.

She stood over me. I felt her eyes burning into my back, which I refused to turn as I pretended I didn’t know she was standing behind me.

In the midst of 25 families, she pulled me to my feet by my ears. Unfortunately, my hands were still clinging to the bag of whipped cream, which was now in full glare.

It was a pitiable sight.

It got me thinking.

Wasn’t Christmas all about giving?

Why was my case different?

While the 3 Wise Men came from the East to give the baby Jesus gifts, why was I trying to starve this poor creature?

The pig definitely didn’t deserve the cream, but it found favour in the eyes of the attendant. And wasn’t that the spirit of Christmas – salvation for Mankind?

I was grounded and restricted to room service for the rest of our vacation but from that day on, Christmas took a whole new meaning.



18 thoughts on “Prodigal Ambitions” by Dipo Adesida (@dipoadesida)

  1. HA HA HA HA HA
    This is so funny Dipo
    beefing a pig, thats crazy but yet the message was well sent
    had me a hell of a good laugh
    nice story
    A lesson learnt the hard way are often the hardest to forget.
    i’m sure your ears are still tingling.loj

  2. Ta.
    It did happen.
    I feel ashamed when I remember.

  3. LOL
    We all learn someday and yours was one hell of an experience.

  4. Buahahahahahaha,this was so hilarious and you don’t have to feel ashamed,I really love the title of this and serzly you had a wonderful childhood,very good tale

  5. Lmao!
    Poor pig! But she won in the end, lol.

    1. Very funny story…Well done!

  6. Unfortunately, she did.
    Christmas brings those memories back.

  7. Plateau State? that place is heaven. I served there and i still plan to go back.
    This is one funny story. wow, you must have been a very active child. Lol. Nice going.

  8. I’ll tell you this for free – It’s called The Miango Rest Home in Miango, Plateau State.
    It’s lovely…but a shadow of itself now.

    Funny thing – I went there for my honeymoon
    and prayed so hard that history wouldn’t repeat itself.

    Thankfully, it didn’t.

  9. very funny creative one, a well crafted note with an unforgettable moral, way to go!

  10. Really prodigal ambitions. Lol.

  11. LOL, you tell very fine stories bro

  12. This is funny and really good. I totally understand your point of view, i beleive parents (adults) don’t understand that young ones do have legitimate reasons for the things they do. I remember having reasons for most of my actions when i was little.
    Case #1: I didn’t have money to get a mouth-wash (i was 10!!!) so my friend gave me a gift of toothpaste. I was trying to melt it with water in a bottle (i thought that was how mouth-wash was made) and then i was beaten and severely warned by my parents not to waste ‘resources’. Lesson learnt was to experiment in private! :-)

  13. Case #2:
    I once poured vegetable oil into a can and stuffed it with raw fish.
    I thought I was making sardine.
    The house stank for days.
    The scars remain on my back till this day.

  14. Case #3 – i nearly injured myself trying to stick a straw inside myself, down under. Why? – I wanted to pee standing up!
    Luckily, it was my brother who got the beating that day for inciting me to ‘pee like a man instead of a girl

    1. Well, think I was getting married and on honeymoon when this posts where put up.

  15. @dipo-adesida, this is a lovely piece. that you could even imagine this is commendable..totally unique concept…could pass for poetry KUDOS

  16. This had me laughing so hard my teeth nearly fell from my jaw. Well done

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