Childhood was a great time for me. Getting exposed to new things everyday was part of the things that made it exciting. All that time, there was a lot of mystery surrounding the grown ups. This mystery was supported by the fact that we absolutely believed they knew everything.
Wherever it was that I learnt and perfected the art of climbing trees, I can’t tell but I remember that the guava tree situated just outside the window of my parents bedroom suffered my assault the most. Everyday it was in season, I would climb as far as my weight would allow, pluck as many of the fruits as possible, ripe or not, climb down, wash them(sometimes, vigorously rubbing them on my shirt was enough), sit at a cool corner and devour them, seeds and all. One day an older cousin saw me, no, caught me and told me in no uncertain terms, that the seeds I had gladly been swallowing would gather in my stomach and form big stones and gradually, I wouldn’t able to defecate. The horror her vivid explanation caused my childish imagination could better be left unsaid.
I remember it was not very unusual to swallow the pips of the orange fruits we were given once in a while. I still haven’t decided if my greatest wrong had been swallowing the pip or telling my Aunt I had swallowed it. She sat me down with the most concerned look on her face and explained to me that in no certain time, that lucky pip would sprout and start to grow out of the available openings in my body. I barely slept that night , and whether it was my imagination or not,I did feel something happening in my belly.
Another incident I think I would never forget, is when I swallowed a stone. Like every other day after school myself and my neighbors decided to play ‘buy and sell’. Sweets were the easiest to sell because we could gather the used wrappers and place stones in them. After ‘buying’ my ‘sweet’ I decided to play the ‘pretend’ to the best of my ability. My foolishness turned into wide-eyed wisdom when the smooth stone found its way down my throat. None of my play mates understood why I was suddenly reluctant to play that day or why I never played that game again. Of course I never mentioned the incident to anyone.
There were a million times I thought I hated them(the adults) for the ordeals they put me through. At that time, it was not unusual to hide your injuries because the bloodier they were the more painful the treatment was. I guess I thought I was smarter than my mother that fateful day I stepped on a rusted nail, for I can never tell how she found out. That week might have easily been the worst week of my entire childhood. In the night, a special knife chosen for the purpose was heated over the burner. When it was red hot, a little palm oil was put at the tip and applied to the spot. To achieve this, my older cousins and uncles were recruited to hold me down. I have to say here, that I can’t tell if I screamed so hard because the application was painful or because I just ‘thought’ it was painful. Those screams still echo in my head.
Undoubtedly, we had a lot of happy memories. Those of being carried shoulder high by relations who visited and of our older cousin who always insisted on blessing our food before we ate. Of course by the time the blessings had been said, our meat or fish would have been half their original size. The sweet pleasures of ice cream in biscuit cones that could be finished in one big bite but were prolonged till they had almost melted. Those of the enticing scent of Nasco cornflakes in hot milk and plantain balls on rare days. Those of the iced ‘pure’ water sold in small white cellophane a and the independence school always brought. I must admit that if our teachers understood the joys we derived from singing the anthems as they pleased us, they might not have painstakingly corrected us as we sang:
Arise O Compassion
Nigerian skull obey
To serve our fathers land
With love and strength and saaaay
The neighbor of our hero pass
Shall never be in vain
To ser without our might
One nation bounin freedom,peace and unity.

7 thoughts on “Memories” by amyOhio (@Amy)

  1. Hmm….adults and the myths they cooked up to instill good behavior…may God forgive them, the agony they put us through..amen

    Better paragraphing would make for an easier read…


    1. Amen!! thanks @topazo, i’ll take note of that..

  2. Hehe. ‘Twas the anthem that cracked me up, even some adults can’t sing the anthem correctly.
    I swallowed an udara/agbalumo seed and well, I kept trying to cough out the seed, so I wouldn’t be a human-tree.

    I spotted; ‘…a and’
    Well done, Amy. $ß.

  3. Lol. They told me when I was growing up that if I swallowed an chewing gum, e go block my yansh and if I ate too much sugary tins, my teeth would fall off. Well, I never swallowed chewing gum again. AND I didn’t give a jack if my teeth fell off. Ahahaha @Topazo n @Sibbylwhyte n @mimiadebayo

  4. This was an enjoyable collection of recollections, @amy.

    As @topazo has noted, it would have even been sweeter if there had been paragraphs.

    Well done.

    1. Thanks…I’ll take note of that.

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