ON THE LIONESS TAIL.
By AMAH’S HEART.
“Kaya…. Kaya! where’s Kaya?
She ran down to her mother-in-law’s place but she wasn’t there.
“You worry too much about her, think about your condition my dear. Kaya is always running off to the wood… you should know that by now. She prefers being in the wood than this place.
Opa sighed heavily.
“I don’t know what to do again. I have done everything possible to make her act and behave like other female children… even like her sister but all my efforts are thwarted…
Bambira moved closer to her and sat down.
“What were you thinking when you named her after me? Hahahahaha…
Bambira laughed out hard before she continued.
…”Despite she has the strength of a man than I did when I was her age, but I always prefer to be alone. I enjoy my own company. She probably enjoys being alone… talking to those overgrown trees, birds, squirrel and other animals in the wood. That’s what I can not be found doing…. being alone in the wood. I will be scared to death. That granddaughter of mine is far more than any of us can explain. How are you coping with the pregnancy…?
Opa robbed her tummy , she breathed down before saying.
” If not for this protruding stomach, and few kicks I don’t even feel like I’m pregnant. This one is so easy on me just like Maya, unlike when I was carrying Kaya… That girl almost gave me a heart attack and she has not stop troubling me and the entire community ever since. Her wisdom is beyond what I can explain
Bambira laughed out as Opa continued.
“… something else worries me greatly. . Dre said he may likely get another wife if I fail again this time. He meant it my Queen. I don’t want to be bothered but I’m truly bothered…
Bambira looked stoned.
“Try not to get yourself worried over what Dre said. I know my son…he won’t do it. Is just an empty threat. Drema doesn’t have such liver…. or energy for another woman. He loves you despite he may not show it often but he won’t hurt you that way. Relax and focus on your condition…the gods will favor you this time.
Opa took courage from what her mother inlaw said.
They sat down talking until the sun went down and she left to her place.
Opa was not giving up hope this time. She ate whatever they asked her to eat that will produce a male.
She drank, she sang the song of the old that made the women to have male children.
She hang leaves and carved object all around the house
They call it gods of luck for a male child.
Everything she was asked to do she did while waiting for the time to birth her baby.
Mario was not giving up despite that Opa was pregnant and there is every possiblity that it will be a man this time.
He kept training Romo who was exhausted from his shrewd father’s orders.
He wanted to please him by all means but what if Opa gives birth to a male.
“Father…I do want to be the next chief of Zukumo kingdom but what if lady Opa gives birth to a male child this time… what will become of me, of us…?
Mario gave a long laugh before saying.
“Relax my son, there’s no male child in that woman’s womb. But if it happens that she gives birth to a male then we’ll think of other plans. This why I have a second plan if the first fails. You see that chieftain, is coming to us. Except if Dre marries another wife but I know he wouldn’t want to do that. He doesn’t have the energy for a second wife. Dre is not even fit for a Chief…he sometimes behave like a woman. So we are still on the winning side son. Fear nothing because you will be the next chief of Zukumo kingdom..
That night as Opa turned from the bed, she saw her husband sitting up and staring at the oil lamp.
“What is the problem Dre…?
She asked while sitting up too.
“Having a son is the problem Opa. I don’t want to get my hopes high like I did for Kaya… I don’t want to be faithless too. I kept beseeching the gods but they are silent. It was only in the dream during the time you were still pregnant for Kaya that they showed me a child of mine wearing a crown. I thought Kaya was the long awaited son but I was disappointed. We agreed to try again for another child after Kaya was born but right from the day one of your pregnancy I have fears Opa. Mario is trying everything possible to take the throne from father but I won’t let him. I swear it on the throne of my fathers. If you fail me again Opa I will be forced to marry another woman who will give me a son…so if you don’t want that to happen you have to do everything within your power to prevent mishap Opa… I’m trying to protect my line of chieftaincy and the story won’t change when’s it comes to me. No, may the gods forbid such…
Opa did not say anything.
Dre became silent. After sometime he spoke up again with a high voice.
“…. and another thing Opa, hold your daughter Kaya down. Teach her to behave like a girl. Let her learn how to tidy the house, cook good meal and care for the home because nobody will do that for her when she finally enters a husband’s house. I really don’t understand that daughter of yours running off the wood and sitting up high on a tree. She forgot she is a female royalty. She is a woman… she maybe small but she will have a home of her own someday so is high time you start cautioning her so that she will start helping out around here just like her elder sister is doing. Maya ask questions when she doesn’t understand but Kaya want to act bravery all the time. She is a woman, nobody will respect her if she fails as a wife. Her only gain on this earth is to marry, bear children and care for her home. Take up your motherly role seriously because I can’t do it for you. My whole focus is how to get a male child not how to saddle a female child…
Kaya was awake in the next room with her sister, listening while Maya was in a deep sleep.
Dre turned his back on Opa.
“You are begining to sound like your uncle Mario. You make it seems like female child is an an abomination Dre… Dre…
She wanted to pour out her anger but the tears gathering up her eyes prevented her.
She sniff and wiped off her eyes.
This is not the time to cry because no amounts of tears will move Dre.
Opa time to give birth came just as expected and she gave birth to her third daughter.
She began to blame the gods for the continues disappointment.
Mario had another good laughter with his followers whom he kept convincing about how Romo will take over from Dre.
Dre moved to a separate room
He no longer share a room with Opa.
One day, he packed few things into a bag, and rode off the village with his royalty horse.
He told Opa that he was going to another kingdom to get a royal wife who will give him a son.
Opa wept as she held her third daughter, who she name Ivan.
Maya was consoling her mother in her room at same time crying too when Kaya returned home and saw her mother and sisters crying.
“Why is everyone crying, did somebody die…?
“Father has traveled to bring another woman home as a wife because mother did not give him a son that will be the next chief of Zukumo…?
Maya replied her sister.
Instead of crying with others she began to laugh.
Opa paused, clean her eyes and stare at her angrily.
“Are you happy that you will be having a stepmother? What is your main reason for laughing Kaya?
Opa asked. Kaya quickly apologized to her mother before saying.
“It appears funny how everyone was looking like they were in a mourning mood. Mama, if father wants to marry another woman then let him go ahead. Lord Mario married Lady Tira because Salabi the first wife couldn’t produce a male child for him. Salabi is still living, her cry did not stop her husband. She is living fine…. she is not dead because her husband took another wife.
Maya shouted at her.
“You never really liked father… that is why you aren’t bothered if he has another family.
“I love father, I only hate how he constantly remind me of my life span. How my only use is to be married off and have children. Is there nothing more for a woman than this already known facts Mama?
Opa didn’t replied her. Maya too was silent.
“…i’m going to change that narrative…I will prove to father and every other person in this village that there’s more to a woman than those ridiculous belief.
Maya laughed out first before saying to her sister.
“How do you intend to do that Kaya? Is it by your constant running off to the wood or keeping to yourself often? how exactly Kaya. Remember words are cheap and yours holds no water…
“As far as there’s seed time and harvest I will find a way to make it happen. I’m not the kind of girl that falls into their laid down list. Is only with time and I will prove them otherwise….
Kaya walks away leaving her mother and sisters.
“You are only bluffing Kaya. Stay home often and help out around here… quit running off to the wood. You will definitely have a family of your own someday. I wonder how you will do it. Mother and I won’t be there to help you remember that…
Maya said as Kaya was walking away.
Kaya did not reply her. She walked away leaving her mother and her sisters
Opa was hit hard by Kaya’s word.
There was an aura around her when she speaks.
She wasn’t scared of anything or anyone.
Opa wondered where Kaya got her boldness from and how she was going to make a difference in a man’s world.