Calabar, Cross River State.
“Abasi mi” gasped Ekaette , as she walked into the kitchen and saw the spilled mass of Mfi Ikpok, broken from their shells and the trampled Afang leaves; their green-coloured juices, splattered everywhere. She then looked to the disheveled frames of Etete and Eteka, who had stopped brawling upon her entry.
“Mma , Eteka looked for my trouble!” Etete advanced, rubbing his left eye, in a lot of pain. Ekaette ignored a silent Eteka and pulled her discomfited other son, for a closer look. A piece of shell had lodged in his eye. A ‘mouthful of blown air’ later, Etete was relieved. But not Ekaette . The Mbong Nkpor of her husband’s younger sister, was slated for that evening and all her work of the previous day was gone! “Ebe mi, see what your boys have caused oh! What will our future in- laws eat, when they come?” she wailed.
Soon, Akpan joined his wife and kids. Eka Eka ,clutching a walking stick, came in a short time afterwards.
“ What happened?” Akpan asked.
“ Etete stole meat from the pot and I caught him.” Etete replied.
“ I can’t meet up with serving our guests, what will I do now?” Ekaette asked in dismay.
“ I was young and now I am old; I thank God that the Esuk He gave us freely, will never run dry of Mfi Ikpok and our land will remain green , long enough for us to gather all the leaves we need. Ekaette, lead the way and we shall follow!” Eka Eka sermonized, waving her stick in the air.
“Grandma, will you pick the periwinkle from their shells?” the little boys asked, giggling.
“Yes, if you will eat enough and leave your mother’s pot alone,” she replied, drawing rapturous laughter from all.