Stranger in the Farm 2

Stranger in the Farm 2

It was the early hours of the day. Buyers were already in the farm to get eggs. But the eggs were not enough and some people had to go elsewhere. The farmer was sad. So he went under a shade to milk a cow. As he worked silently, an old friend walked in. Smiling faintly, the visitor threw out a question, “Great farmer, how are you?” He sat on the chair beside his friend and crossed his legs.

“Fine, my brother,” Ajayi raised his head and replied. He masked his anger with a smile and got back to work.

“You are always busy, Ajayi. How is your family?”

There was no answer.

Sensing that his friend was unhappy, the visitor, Mr. Bode, sat up and asked, “What is wrong, Ajayi? You look pale as if you had fallen from a tree.”

Ajayi hissed. He rose to his feet and moved to a corner and sat on a chair. “My eggs were stolen last night!” he lamented and turned away.

“You mean a thief visited your farm last night?” Mr. Bode shook his head, “what a wicked world! Did you get the person?”

“No. He escaped before I could do anything,” Mr. Ajayi told his friend.

Bode took a deep breathe and crossed his arms over his body. “You have been complaining about this thief for a long time,” he said and coughed. “It is now a bone in your neck.”

“Yes, but I will have my way someday!” Ajayi spoke confidently as their eyes met.

Bode nodded. “Oh, you will. Everyday is for the thief but one day is for the owner of the house. If I may ask, how do you intend to stop the thief?”

Ajayi sighed deeply. He flung a glance at his guest who was anxiously awaiting a response. But since he was not ready to reveal his plans, he replied, “I don’t have any plan in my head yet.”

“Ah,” the visitor was disappointed. “This is not your best of times. But my mind tells me something.”

“Please tell me,” Ajayi insisted and sat up.

“Your workers might have a hand in this!” Mr. Bode disclosed. He raised an eyebrow, nodding gently.

Mr. Ajayi faced the roof and pondered over his words. Not convinced, he turned to his friend and replied, “I trust my workers. They don’t steal!”

The visitor chuckled and said, “You sound like a man under a spell.”

“Really?”

“You are a business man, Ajayi. Don’t get me wrong. I did not say it is a crime to trust people. But anybody can change. A friend in the day could be an enemy at night!”

Ajayi took a mighty heave and looked at his face. “Very well. I will look at them closely and see if I have a thief among them,” he replied.

There was silence. But before they could blink, Tolu, one of Mr. Ajayi’s workers walked in. “Sir, tomorrow will be great!” he announced with a warm smile.

Ajayi and his guest shut a glance at each other. Then the farmer asked, “What do you mean?”

“The layers are doing well. We have over seven crates of eggs now!” Tolu disclosed and shifted his weight to one leg.

Mr. Ajayi smiled faintly, “Good. I will tell you what to do as soon as we are through with work today.”

“Okay sir,” Tolu replied with a bow and moved away.

As soon as the worker left, Mr. Bode tapped his friend on the shoulder and asked, “What do you want to tell the lad?”

“Tolu is a good worker. I want to give him some money. At least, a good worker deserves a gift,” he replied slyly.

Mr. Bode looked at him. He nodded quietly and said, “That’s a good idea. That will make him work harder,” he heaved and rose to his feet, “my friend, I must leave now. You know my wife is pregnant. We expect our baby any moment from now.”

Mr. Ajayi nodded, “Good to be close to your wife. You have always had male children. A female child will be treasured this time!”

“Yes, that is my fondest wish.” Mr. Bode sounded as they laughed out loud. The farmer walked his visitor to the gate. As soon as he was gone, Ajayi slammed the gate behind him. He stood there, staring at the beautiful earth like a man lost in his thought. After a time, he breathed the air of relief and walked to the shade.



16 thoughts on “Stranger in the Farm 2” by Ruyi (@omoruyi)

  1. This excerpt was much better edited than the other ones, and it was a good flow reading it. However, I noticed a lot of heaving, I guess the context shows a deep breath or so? I know it’s a serious matter, but the whole heavy breathing was too repetitive. I also think the use of slyly is somewhat off, as it means deceptive or something like that.

    Good work though.

  2. Heaving, at that CV.
    Nine books? Serious matter.
    Kids will like this short story, it would make a good English text, after enough editing.

    1. Kaycee, there are children’s book writers in Nigeria that are far ahead of me. They have made a fortune writing for children. Do you know Mark Nkemdi, Judeson Ogberaha, Okafor of Pekan publishers and the leading writer of Apex Books Limited? The list is endless…they sell their books to schools and are hardly online. Well, stop by any bookstore for the books: Message to Good Mother, Shadows in a River, Little Okon, John and the Ball, Land of Gold, Empire of the Wicked, Guilty Party…

  3. Now they ά̲̣яε recommending children’s book for the Free spirit to read! Chai! I don suffer.
    Lol.

    1. My brother, I just wanted you to know how big Mark Nkemdi and the others are. However, it is not a crime if you buy their children’s books. At least, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain and J K Rowling write for children…they all started very roughly before they became household names. So do not despise the days of little beginning!

      1. Note to you: J.K. Rowling stopped writing for children after Harry Potter and The Chamber Of Secrets. from thereon out, its ‘Darkfest’.

  4. this is beta edited and i loved reading.
    i am so happy that you put the corrections u received into this…
    plz write more…the suspense is already getting to me…hehe…children’s novel!

    1. Thank you, Adaobi.God bless you and I appreciate your kind words!

  5. Okay. Now I understand why this is written in such a ‘call-and-response’ approach. Needs heavy editing. Why did U start with ‘The Man’, and then use his name? Why not use both their names from the beginning?

    Plenty work dey here…Not bad…

    1. What is “call-and-respond” approach? Do you mean dialogue? If that is what you have on your mind my African friend, dialogue is a major component of creative or fictional writing of any level

      …which area get plenty work? I beg point them out as Myne, Adaobi, Kaycee and Tola do, Raymond.

      1. It is obvious that U did not understand me. Did I say there was no Dialogue? Did I say Dialogue was unimportant? I meant the manner in which d Dialogue was written.

        As for the area that needs work, everything man. Edit.

        1. Okay, Ray. Please do you have an editor that can fix this? I will gladly send the fellow the whole piece…

          1. I don’t know anyone at the moment bro. I myself am saddled with 2 at the moment. Reach out to others here on NS. There’s a Children’s stpry writer who has been shortlisted for the NLNG prize that’s going to chat here on Friday. Mrs Chinyere Iwuala Obasi-Obi. Correspond with her on that day, or on Facebook. Ask her questions. DO NOT MISS THAT CHAT. 3pm, I think. Will do you a whole lot of good. Good luck.

  6. Not much happens in this installment for me to comment on, Ruyi. I kind of get the sense that Bode may know more about the robbery than he may be giving away – why should he be disappointed that Mr. Ajayi won’t reveal his plans?

    1. Tola, you are blessed. Bode is the thief. Like any smart guy, he wanted to know Ajayi’s next move so that he can be a step ahead. Peace.

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