He was digging the ridges as sweat dripped from
his body effortlessly, suddenly he winced, he felt
his right thumb then with the aid of his left thumb
and index finger, he pulled out a tiny piece of
wood from his right thumb, letting out a grunt. He
felt the thumb again and nodded in satisfaction,
"Ndi ojoo!", he breathed with a sigh.
The sun was scorching, Anyanwu hated working
when the sun was hot but he didn't leave the
house on time because he had to cover the roof
with new palm fronds, he had always preferred to
leave home when his shadow would be behind
He was determined to finish the work on that
land but suddenly he heard some rustling among
the leaves on the adjacent land.
"Who is there?", he asked but he got no response.
The leaves continued to rustle, perhaps it might
be one naughty squirrel or rabbit, he thought.
Soon, the sound continued and he became afraid,
wielding his cutlass, he crouched to deal with
whatever thing it was before it attacked him then
his eyes locked with a feminine pair of eyes and
she let out a scream.
"Please don't kill me", she yelled.
Anyanwu was too dazed to talk, "Am not a
murderer, I won't hurt you but what are you
doing here?", he stuttered.
"I came to fetch firewood", she replied.
"I had asked who was there but no one answered,
so I decided to defend myself",he told her.
"Against a maiden?", she asked in suprise
"Not at all..... I thought it was an animal",
"You really startled me", she confessed clutching
"Am so sorry, whose daughter are you and what is
your name?", he asked.
"I am the daughter of Ikuku and my name is Ani",
"I never knew Ikuku had a priceless jewel, well, I
am Anyanwu" , he said beating his chest
"I should be on my way home", she tried to
"No! We will be on our way home", he said to her
as he tied the firewood and lifted it on his
"I won't like to bother you, let me go
alone,please", she pleaded.
"You are not bothering me, I have finished for the
day, please bring my cutlass and hoe along", he
reminded her as they walked down the bushy
path that led to the village square.
©Andrew Ifeatu Jennifer, 2016