by Stephen Ajadi

What A Child Will Eat

The rain came unannounced, beating an incoherent rhythm on the leaky corrugated iron roof. Holes in the roof had let in sunlight, which formed various patterns on the floor and walls of the dark room. In an instant, the holes became inlets for rainwater. Bisoye stood up from the bed. She bent with difficulty to carry her three children, one after the other, from their sleeping positions – two raffia mats laid near each other on the bare floor, to the bed.

The bed creaked as she laid them, as if complaining that the added weights were too much for its old frame.

She had shooed them to bed after their evening meal. They had chattered noisily and fought over the little pieces of meat that were like lifebuoys, in the thin sea of palm oil and vegetables that was soup. Now they slept in peace, oblivious of the rainwater splashing on their bodies.

She missed their chattering. It was better than the silence that now pervaded the room, punctuated by the drop-drop sounds of dripping rainwater as it hit the plastic bowls she had placed around the room to collect it.

Like the silence between her and Olayemi, her husband, since she got pregnant again.

Olayemi worked hard to provide for the family. He had told her that he wanted his children to have an education and a good life, like the serious looking bosses he had at work. He was older than his bosses, but they shouted orders at him that he dared not disobey. He did not want more than three children.

She had been annoyed when he had brought her small tablets, which he said could prevent conception, if she used a tablet daily. She asked him how the little things can prevent procreation. His answer was a stammered incoherence. When he suggested the use of a rubber sheath, she shrieked as if she had been stung by a soldier ant. He could stay off her, she said, if he had decided to create an artificial barrier with respect to their intimacy.

So he stayed off, not minding her bickering of him denying her.

When he lost his job at the textile factory where he had worked for ten years, and had risen to become a foreman, he was not bothered. He was sure his experience would earn him another job in good time.

Frustrated at not getting a job, he had sought for and found solace in her. He began to sleep with her again. Each time, he asked her if she was safe. Each time she said yes without thinking, because she liked it that they had gone back to normal. But once she became pregnant, the arguments had begun.

Then, prolonged silence in the evenings ensued. He would come home and not talk to her, but rather whistle sad tunes of his frustration. She believed her mother’s saying that what a child will eat, it brings into the world. But it seemed her three children brought less and less as she bore them. Hardship was a constant companion in her home, even when her husband was employed. Now, the little money she made from petty trading barely sustained the family.

Perhaps, this unborn child will come into the world with enough, and even remember to bring all that its predecessors forgot, she thought.

And as she waited for her husband in the watery silence, she rubbed her belly with renewed hope.




P S: Hi peeps, this is a different adaptation to a work I have here before. It’s been so long and just couldn’t resist the urge to post something. Hope you enjoy.

30 thoughts on “What A Child Will Eat” by Lawal Opeyemi Isaac (@easylife2)

  1. This is a much better version than the previous one. I think it benefits from being trimmed.

    1. Thanks 0yne.I’m happy that you think it so.I don’t know why, but in a sort of way I’m happy that you remember the previous one.


  2. Thanks Myne.I’m happy that you think it so.I don’t know why, but in a sort of way I’m happy that you remember the previous one.


  3. You are a very good writer Lawal. I like the way each piece of description was useful in building the whole image set, and thus created an interesting read.

    This is really nice. Keep improving your art.

    1. Thanks Chemo.You are a good writer too.I just wish that I had more tenacity as per this writing thing. Maybe you’ll give me the right ‘chemotheraphy’ for that.


  4. I enjoyed the read. You didn’t have to stop here. What is the title of the old post?

    ‘Like the silence between her and Olayemi, her husband, since she got pregnant again’ (Paragraph 4)

    I didn’t really know what to make of it. It read incomplete.

    1. Thanks Eletrika.That paragraph is a continuation of the one above,It likens the silence in the room to that between Bisoye and her husband.

      Thanks for dropping by.

  5. It’s nice…I like the descriptions too.

  6. I don’t know the original version but I like this one anyway. I like the beginning and the way it gradually developed, moving from the rain to a snapshot od their home,to the children then her relationship with her husband. Well done. It
    One thing about this story might need rephrasing or something and that is the part about silence in the room and how it sounds when compared to the beginning of the story. The opening lines give an impression of noise – really loud moise- then a few paragraphs down,we are told that the room is silent save for what would amount to dripping sounds. Did the rain reduce in its intensity? A sentence or two might help smoothen the transition for the reader.

    1. I cannot thank you enough Salatu for the point you raised.It was a complete oversight on my part.This is one of the moments I like most about joining NS; one can only get better and better.

      The other story is titled ‘The watery milk.’ You could take time to check it out.Thanks once again.


  7. Thanks for reading Seun, and also taking the time to comments.It feels good to read your comment again.


  8. No wonder. I felt this looked familiar…
    The travails of a family torn apart by strife… Nice.

    1. A million thanks Raymond.I’m glad you think it nice.


  9. Ope,
    Even if you have been incommunicado for some time, this is a good reminder of what a good writer you are. Nice piece, really nice. One or two issues here and there, but overall, this is good. The imagery is tight, the descriptions lovely and the story well-told. I’ll mail you when I get hold of a computer, phones aren’t convenient for comprehensive analysis. Keep it up bro.

    1. Banky my man, e ku ojo meta o. How you flatter me so! I’m glad you like the story, and would be waiting patiently for your review.Lets put the shine on this together!


  10. Good story and good writing too.

    1. Thanks for reading ablyguy.

  11. Really nice.
    We missed your posts.

    1. Thanks a lot Kaycee.I am back now. You can encourage me more by allowing me to chase NS shorties with you…….lol.


      1. This is NOT the Lawal I used to know and salute.

        Don’t tell me: she ran away too?!

        My condolences. Chase NS shawties all you want. Just do NOT forget…

        Most of them are ‘tallies’. Think on that.

        1. Seun my man, it is still the same Lawal o! Man no go kill himself now. Imagine conversing with an intelligent endowed shawtie after a hard day’s work, or nestling your tired head in between her welcoming burstling bosom……..

          I just dey imagine ni o!


          1. Haba. This your imagination fit…in fact e don dey cause chaos already.

            Hmmm. Okay.

            1. Seun na you now.This kain imagination no fit do you strong tin.Or is it not Seun, the ladies man?


  12. Not bad Lawal…not bad at all!

    1. I’m good Chetachi. You? I’m glad you liked the story.


    1. Atorun lo ti maa mu wa. Bullseye! You got where the germ of the story sprang from.

      Thanks for stopping by to read.


  13. Which kin orun? Na for earth you go find wetin pikin go chop o. Lol.
    Lovely story, Lawal. As always.
    It’s been long but you came back even better.

    1. Lol @ Lade. its good to see that you still read me, and you flatter me so, as always.

      Thanks fore stopping by.


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