Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Ungrateful Couple - Part 1

 


Once upon a time, there was a village called Arungungu. It was located near a big river. This river was very advantageous to the inhabitants of this village. Apart from the main source of their drinkable water, it also aided them in all their agricultural produce.

Little wonder, nearly all the people living in this village were typical farmers. On the outskirts of this village was a couple. The husband's name was Ige while the wife was called Sarah. Their house was thirty kilometers far from the main town of the village.

Their isolation was neither because of their decency nor sanity but for their abject poverty. They were so poor that they could hardly eat a ration of food in a day. Most times, for two or three days, they would have nothing to fill their stomachs. Obviously, it was because of this that they were compelled to go and locate their abode in the remote part of the village.

The duo, Hale and hearty had no disability in part of their bodies. They were also farmers like other villagers. We could not even relate they're worsen situation to being lazy. They were very diligent and hardworking couple. They were even professionals in their different areas of specialization. Ige was an experienced fisherman while Sarah was good at planting assorted vegetables. They always worked from morning till evening.

 

Ige would go to the river with his hooks and baits every morning and night, in an attempt to catch fishes. But unfortunately, he always came home with bare hands. His wife, Sarah did work tirelessly on the farm, planting various kinds of vegetables. Yet nothing would come out of it at the end of the season.

In order to survive, they sold all their properties which they both labored for during their younger days and some farmlands which they inherited from their parents. Even apart from their daily works, they often served under the other farmers in the village, so as to earn their living. But to one's surprise, all these never improved their condition. Rather, it aggravated day by day.

What might be responsible for this, they did not know. Some villagers often insinuated that this might come from the lineage curse from Ige's family. Another set of the villagers, however, attributed the cause of their abject poverty to Sarah, his wife. They unanimously agreed she brought ill-luck to her husband. According to them, before I became a married man, though he was not rich, he still made his end meet conveniently. By and large, their abject poverty still remained a mystery to many people in Arungungu village.

One faithful night, Ige returned from his place of work empty-handed. He did not catch a single fish. Surprisingly, he met his wife outside which was unusual for her. The poor woman sat dejectedly in front of the house with her chin rested on her palm.

Immediately her husband saw her in this position, he ran towards her to know what happened to her. But instead of Sarah appreciating his concern for her, she shunned him angrily. Ige, who was really disappointed with this behavior left her and walked sorrowfully into his house.

To show she really meant business on that day, Sarah also stood from where she was. She followed him into the house and began shower all sorts of abuse on him. She even attributed their abject poverty to his ill-luck which emanated from his lineage. She repeated this severally until Ige was unable to bear it any longer, initially, he thought of beating her mercilessly but he swallowed his anger. He believed beating her could not solve the problem. Thereby, he rose angrily, packed his hooks and baits, and headed to the river. It's better to sleep alone at the bank of the river than sleeping at home with a devil, he thought. Even with the step he took, Sarah followed him with a barrage of insults until she saw him no more. 'You'll come and meet me at home', she said on her way back home.

At the bank of the river, Ige laid helplessly on the ground. Series of thoughts were ruminating about in his mind. At first, he thought of jumping into the river and became food for the fishes. He later rejected the idea because he believed that sooner or later, he would overcome his present predicament. And even, cutting one's head is not the antidote for one's headache. So, he concluded to sleep there till dawn with the belief that before he reached home in the morning, his wife's mind must have been settled.

Unfortunately, Ige was unable to sleep. His mind was full of thoughts. He was thinking about how he would be relieved from his present condition. When the disturbance was too much, he rose and decided to engage himself with something. He then fixed his hook with baits and threw it sluggishly into the river, just to while away the time. 'Let there be dawn quickly', he prayed.

Despite this, his mind was yet to be free of thoughts. So, in no time, he was carried away and had forgotten that he was still at the bank of the river. Suddenly, something happened. This immediately brought his mind back to where he was. He just noticed that, deep inside the river, something was dragging the hook fiercely with him.

What might be pulling this hook inside the river? I’m afraid, it might be river goddess’, he thought. Though ige was seriously afraid as he held the twine of the hook he summoned the courage and determined to know the kind of creature it might be. So, he began to draw the twine closer to him energetically. soon, after much stress, he ended up pulling a gigantic creature. then, what became a mystery to him was shown clearly. surprisingly, it was extraordinary big fish. As big as it was, its size could not be imagined.
When he saw this fish, Ige was tremendously elated. He, then decided that he would not be the only one to see this wonder. So, he headed to the village to invite all villagers to come and witness it.

As he took some steps forward, he heard a strange voice which he never heard the kind in this life. My friend fisherman, please don’t let other eyes see me. If you can release me and let me go on my way, I promise to make you rich and become one of the great men in Argungu village.’ It was the big fish that said this. Ige, after listening carefully to this statement quickly remembered how long he had been dwelling in abject poverty. He also remembered the frustration he got from his wife which compelled him to settle at the bank of the river that night.
For these reasons, he concluded that if the big fish could fulfill its promise, he was ready to release it freely. So, he moved closer to the big fish and assured its release, the big fish was happy for this assurance and expressed its gratitude to him.
‘My friend fisherman, I understand that you’re suffering, and to overcome it, I’II give you an everlasting solution. I’II give you an incantation, which you will recite for a while in your room. If you’re able to do this, I assure you, wonders shall happen in your life’, the big fish said with confidence.
Immediately it finished this statement, it turned its side. On its other side was these strange words written boldly. ‘sakuura….. thuraaya….mukinba’, which was to be recited at home by Ige.
After which he had memorized the incantation very well, he released the big fish back into the river. The big fish was very happy. He thanked Ige and jumped back into the river.

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