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Innocent Cyril Okwuchukwu (@admin)
21 days ago


That evening, Amadi was sitting on the wooden bench in front of his hut and lost in thought. He had his little snuff box on his left palm, he hit his right index finger on the cover of the snuff box as if he was trying to bring the snuff powder together.

As he was trying to open the airtight metallic snuff box, the cry of a newborn was heard from his wife's hut which is just close to his. Amadi wasn't excited as he heard the vagitus. He gently put his snuffbox inside his breast pocket and propped his chin in the palm of his right hand.

A few minutes later, the local midwife came out of his wife's hut with her bag.

"How are they doing," Amadi asked her.

"Very fine. Congratulations. It's a baby boy."

"Thank you," he said looking indifferent.

"Your wife needs some rest. I'll be on my way."

Amadi thanked her and she left.

He waited for some minutes before going to his wife's hut.

He got to where his wife lay and held her hand in affection.

"Obim, how are you"

"I'm fine."

He moved to where the baby was laid, gently carried him up and looked closely as if he was expecting to see something. After inspecting the baby, he gently put him back to where he was.

He heaved a huge sigh and left the hut.

They have had three babies before and they all died after four days of birth.

That child was their fourth and they were expecting that he would die just the same way others did. They had visited different herbalists in their community but none could proffer a solution to their predicament.

This fourth pregnancy seemed to be their last chance of having a baby because they had delays after the third child and they weren't getting any younger.

The following day, he went back to his wife's hut.

His wife placed the newborn's mouth on her nipple and was trying to squeeze out milk from her breast. The baby was busy sucking the nipple even though the milk was coming in drops.

"Obim, I want to go to Ebem shrine."

His wife was shocked.

"What are you going to Ebem shrine to do?"

"I want this problem to stop once and for all."

His wife knew that he had made up his mind and wouldn't listen to anyone who would discourage him from what he said.

Ebem shrine was in their village, situated at a huge iroko tree. It had the most dreaded deity in their community. It doesn't have any priest, one can only take permission from the oldest man in their village before visiting the shrine.

It is usually the people's last resort in seeking solutions to problems.

The following day, Amadi left very early in the morning with a cock and three pieces of kola nut. He had bought those items from the market the previous day.


I am Ayogu Oluchi Eze