Chapter 2 – WISDOM IN A SMALL HEAD
Ayodeji tried to speak with his friend when everyone left him in the sitting room. What happened was that Kunle’s girlfriend Telma, who was an unknown witch caught Kunle cheating on her with her cousin and she decided to bewitch him. She laced a very strong spell on him – a long and painful tail grew from Kunle’s buttocks. It made every part of his body painful whenever he moved.
Being a rich family, the Akeredolu’s swore to kill the witch, but a very strict warning revealed that she was untouchable, and any attempt at such would bringsomething more evil to the family.
“Kunle, what are we going to do now?” Ayo spoke soberly when he visited the next day. “All your brothers have travelled, and your father is insisting that he cannot do it too.”
Kunle sighed painfully. Tears had not ceased from his eyes since the previous day. Everypart of his body ached terribly. The tail could not be cut off because every touch or contact was like a cut from a sharp knife. Medical practitioners had attempted laying their hands on him even though they admitted that they had seen nothing like it in their entire career, the more they attempted to touch him, the more it pained and Kunle had to beg his parents to bring him home, where he was now waiting for death.
“Ayo, if I say I know what to do, I’d be lying to you.” He managed to reply and then yelped again.
Ayo frowned bitterly as his friend languished in anguish, “If only there was a chance of a friend helping out. I would gladly do.”
“I wish that too Ayo, but Baba has said no way. My brothers have vowed that no amount of money could make them change their mind. And besides,…” Kunle looked up to see if anyone else was in the sitting room, he rose his head slightly, so that his friend would know that he was about to divulge a secret. “My mother confessed to me last night that I am the only true son of my father. My brothers both belong to different men. Nobody else knows this in the family except her and myself. So, the sacrifice would not work if my brothers tried it even.”
“What?!” Ayo yelled. The old man had been right, the gods really wanted to take revenge on her by killing her son and leaving no way for his resurrection.
Both friends wailed.
“Tomorrow is the deadline. I never knew that even my father would not take such sacrifice for my sake. I mean nothing to him as much as his political career. He keeps saying that the media would publicize it and the public would misconceive the act.
Ayo, I am going to die.” Kunle sobbed.
The sitting room was a big beautiful and expensive one, Ayo was fond of coming to eat in this house, his closeness with the Akeredolus’ had made him seem like one of them. Most of the time he came, he was an object of their jests, and he liked it.
An idea entered Ayo’s small head.
“Kunle! The Old man said that the person who must carry the sacrifice must be someone in this family, someone who shares the blood, isn’t it?”
“Yes? Are you about to suggest contacting my extended family members?”
“Of course not! I am thinking of you!
You are a blood member of this family – in fact, the only blood” Ayo said that quietly, “and you are a man too. You can bail yourself out!”
A grateful smile crossed Kunle’s face. He wished his friend’s prediction could be true; “With this so much pains?”
“Common Kunle! You are fighting death. We must give it every shot. Whatever it takes. You have to save yourself now. No one can.”
Kunle tried to rise from where he laid, his heart was very glad. “I can see your point.”
“And you know, you can lean on me. Afterall, the old man did not say that the man in the family must carry the sacrifice alone. You can lean on me, it would be quite painful, but it will be worth it.”
“Very true!” Kunle said triumphantly.
“And guess the best part?”
“I listened very attentively to the man yesterday, he did not say that the sacrifice must be seen by the people at the market, he only said that we must carry it before their eyes.”
“What is the difference?”
“We can wrap the sacrifice up in some sort of beautiful wrapper! We can package it like a gift or a cake or something beautiful. We will carry it before thevery eyes of market men and women, but the people would definitely not know what the content is.”
Kunle kept looking at Ayo absentmindedly until he got the full explanation of what the boy was saying. Solutions to problems were like keys to doors, when the right key is inserted, the door opens easily. Ayo’s key unlocked the mystery in Kunle’s head.
“This is a perfect plan!” Kunle screamed finally,“I’m glad I have you as a friend.” Kunle felt pains all over his body, but the new plan seemed strong enough to subdue the hurtful feel. “But are we sure the old man would agree?”
“We don’t have to ask him, we would only assure him that everything is ready and that a man who bears the blood of this family is ready to carry and deliver the sacrifice in the middle of a busy marketplace before all eyes.”
Kunle tried to hug his friend, but his condition would not permit. Their plan was almost virtually concealed.
The herbalist consented to Kunle carrying his cross himself, he even commended the boys for wittingly detecting that Kunle too could bail himself out. Neither he nor the boy’s family had initially thought in that direction. He considered it better for the boy to save his life himself.
The boys were wise enough to conceal their plans of a beautiful covering of the sacrifice from everyone – even the old herbalist, who told them that the sacrifice was going to vanish as a sign that it had been accepted by the witches but it was not of the carrier to see it vanish. Kunle was to deliver it at the market place and walk away without looking back.
The boys carried the sacrifice early on the sunny afternoon of the following day. Ayo helped prepare a beautiful basket to house the sacrifice so that it looked like a gift pack. His friend was in so much pain but he still managed to carry it while leaning on Ayo. They recited the necessary incarnations quietly to each other until they got to the spot and carefully placed the item down. Ayo had to stand beside it, so that people would not notice and become curious that something was dropped abruptly.
Ayo joined his limping friend some seconds later when no one was watching. They had not taken more than ten strides away from the sacrifice – neither of them turned backto see if the sacrifice vanished or not. What they simply noticed was that Kunle’s tail vanished entirely that same moment and it never came back!