The Pink Chick

This time he would obey mummy. He wanted to see that good smile that lit up her face whenever she was pleased with him. He liked that smile. It wasn’t like the one he had seen her give daddy so many times. And when she would smile this bad smile daddy would just keep talking. The last time he had almost told daddy, shut up, can’t you see that mummy feels like slapping you! It hadn’t happened yet, but he thought one day mummy just might.

Strapped in with his seat belt in the back seat, his legs started to shake. He forced them to be still. Mummy had said not to move. “Stay where you are, Soji. If you come out ehn, you will see what I will do to you.” Mummy had parked beside the road and crossed to the other side to buy the boli and fish that would hold them till dinner was ready. He would obey mummy today. He didn’t want it to be like that day when mummy had asked him to leave the kitchen because she was frying fish and didn’t want the oil to jump on him. When mummy had turned his back he had gone closer to the pan. He wanted to know what made the oil jump like that when they put fish in it.

He put his face close to the pan. He heard a popping sound and started to marvel at it, before the pain registered and he screamed. Mummy had given him a conk before rubbing Vaseline on his forehead where the oil had jumped. The wound did not heal before his sixth birthday last two weeks, and that was why he had a dark spot on his head in all the pictures. He unconsciously raised his hand to touch his head. He would obey mummy today. If he kept her happy, maybe she would agree to buy him ice cream from Skippers. Yum.

He looked out the window and knew at once that today would not be the day. He quickly checked to see that mummy was still haggling with the boli woman. Then he unstrapped the seat belt and slipped out of the car and into the gutter to follow the pink baby chicken that had walked past. He had seen white chickens, black chickens, black and white chickens, grey chickens, brown chickens, even orange chickens. He had never seen pink. He crept along, following the chick away from the car. If it was aware of Soji’s presence it didn’t act like it. He wondered if the chick would lead him to its mother, in all her pink glory. He couldn’t wait to tell his friends. A pink chicken!

The chick stopped, one leg suspended mid-air, cocked its head and let out a shrill, pitiful sound. It was crying! Tears sprang to Soji’s eyes as he realized the chick had lost its mother. Soji knew his mummy had bad smiles and could conk very well, but he didn’t want her to be lost. He would adopt the chick! He would take it home and feed it grains of rice and garri. It would become part of their family. A pink mummy chicken was pretty awesome, but who needed a pink mummy chicken when they had him?

He inched forward to grab the chick. It tried to run away, but Soji got it. There, there, Soji thought as he smoothed the feathers of the shrieking chick, everything will be fine. He climbed out of the gutter, careful not to hurt the chick. Mummy’s car was no longer where he had left it. There was a big tipper where the car had been, and beneath it he could just make out the red of mummy’s now squashed Kia. He looked across the street, and there was mummy in the boli woman’s arms, both of them on the floor. Her hair was scattered and she was shaking, rubbing herself on the floor. He had never seen mummy cry. He ran across the road to meet her. Maybe the pink chick would cheer her up.

The boli woman was the first to see him. She shook mummy and pointed, pushing her to sit up, to look at him. He raised the pink chick like a trophy and saw mummy slowly start to smile, even with the tears. It was her good smile. He smiled back. He knew the pink chick would make her happy.

NOTE: I’ll be doing follow up stories of The Pink Chick for three weeks. All the stories would be the same basically, but each one would be told from the perspective of a different character.  Please follow the stories on my blog (yourstruly-uche.blogspot.com).


20 thoughts on “The Pink Chick” by Uche Okonkwo (@Uche)

  1. Looking forward to the other PINK CHICKs

  2. interesting

    Mummy’s car was no longer where he(she) had left it
    plz…hope the coming ones have paragraphs? this was not easy on the eye at all…

    1. Where ‘he’ left it in the sense that he was the last to leave. Or maybe I should have said ‘where it was when he’d left it’. Thanks.

      The paragraphs… I’m pretty sure I put in paragraphs when I posted. Must have been a weird formatting issue. It is terrible to read, sorry about that.

  3. Admin, is there a way I can edit the story and put in paragraphs. I’m really embarrassed to see it looking like that up there. Pleeeeease. :-)

    1. I see I now have paragraphs. Thanks, Admin.

  4. nice. i especially like the way you wrote in the simplistic way a child would talk and think. Thats building good characters.

    1. Thanks. That was what I had hoped to achieve.

  5. The pink chick! Lol! Thought it was about something else entirely…read this a while ago but didn’t comment then. Nice work, Miss Uch. Good one.

  6. Nice work,but mind your pronouns (using ‘he’ instead of ‘she) and when you say ‘conk’ I believe you mean ‘knock on the head’. I get it that you want it to have that localized effect, but you should put non-English words in italics

    1. Like I replied to Adaobi, the he/she thing wasn’t a mistake, though I see how it could be taken for one and agree I could have expressed that part differently to avoid the confusion.

      And conk is an English word. I checked before using it the way I did. Thanks for reading.

  7. Narration through the child’s perspective was executed very well. Looking forward to the other bits.
    well done…

  8. Very intersting indeed.

    As for visiting your blog for the continuation, I think it’s only fair if you continue here because it is here we are familiar with.

  9. disobedience with a benefit.
    enjoyed reading it.
    The wound did not heal before his sixth birthday last two weeks……….. I think two weeks ago would have been a better phrase

  10. Very nice story. Really nice, I must say.

  11. Good, really good!

  12. At first, I couldn’t see where this story was going… but in the last half of the story, it all came together as you deftly showed through the eyes of the child MC how a horrible tragedy was avoided. Well done, Uche!

  13. Well done. Simple and to the point, with enough heart in it.

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