Whispers, in the palace of secrets
Soft footsteps, in the treasured garden
Draped in a garland of pretty blossoms
Garnished with hidden sins
Put on the cherished veil of outstanding beauty
Dance on the front steps, preening and perfect
Trapped in a river flowing,
Tremors from a thinning crust
The guardian quivered, pluck the secret bow
Shoot darts of keys to unlock the box
Crumpling muddied veil and splattered tears
On a shattered vial of crippling pain
Dying blossoms gripping a fallow garden
Silence in the palace of secrets
“Grandpa, Grandpa, tell us a story! Tell us a story please?” the chirpy group of children yelled out all at once.
Grandpa Ediga was tired but it was a cool evening and the gentle breeze grazed against his moustache tickling him into a genial mood. He was curved against his Ukonobo, the curved elongated chair made out of polished dark wood old men relaxed in. He toyed with the chewing stick almost permanently attached to his mouth; he only removed it when he was talking or eating. He smiled beckoning the happy group and a few of them called out to the others who were not around. Then they sat in a neat half circle at his feet on mats spread out, the older ones cradled the toddlers who were being lulled to sleep after the evening meal. The full moon sat high up the sky lending some light to the otherwise dark village, candles and lanterns dotting the area, their pale tongues flickering here and there. The evening meal was over and the compound was nice and tidy in readiness for another day. Older women lay sated on mats here and there tired from carrying out the day’s chores and content at having some time to themselves.
Grandpa began the story as he always had and they all listened intently.
“Once Upon a Time, a very long time ago, Iyeji, the hare and Ikinabo, the tortoise were on one of their many fabled long journeys once again. Ikinabo had been promised a feast like never before in the village of his in-laws; mountainous white and fluffy pounded yam, Ohupi garnished with delicious spicy abahi and chunks of the goat meat fattened on the choicest and freshest grass. The never ending flow of fresh palm wine was a given and Iyeji massaged (more…)