High up in the sky, a jet drew a long soft line of vapor through the unclouded blue, More interestingly it was mid august, the wind blew leaves, dust, sands and almost blowing away the aged long tent of King Edem Ekong, whose palace has been shared with birds , making their nest up, no one truly knew how many generations of birds had lived on the roof top of Obong Edem Ekong’s tent.
The day was still bright, such that one cannot even see his own shadow, mist and dust filled the air, the sea breeze retarded as if there was a quarrel between the water bodies, while the land breeze took charge. Behold there was a man sitting on a wooden crafted chair, the throne which was as old as his third generational ancestors. He looked confused but confident that the winter season was not so close, but he wondered why the severe cold breeze with morning dew and mist.
By his side stood two heavy bodied men, even more healthier than the king, Obong Edem Ekong, one could wonder who was the king and who are the guards if they were to be judge by body status and fitness, as they guards were more fit and muscular but without royal adornments, except for Axe, Bow-Arrow And knifes which are elements of war and guidance, these they had in their possession.
Behind the guards are painted portraits of the king’s ancestors, a blue-black colored portraits of his wife, “The goddess of the sun” was made and placed opposite the former, where the king will see it when sitting on his aged long throne, a fair beautifully adorned woman sat near him, decorated with shells of periwinkles and circular brown beads were hanged around her smooth long neck like pendants of gold, her eyes were almost as small as that of a cat with light brown retina in them, her rob and sandals were glittering as if they were painted with crystals of gold.
Indeed she was everything more than beauty, and her angelic nature attracted special prestige to their kingdom as she was often described as “The goddess of the sun”. gathered around the king are his elders and Kinsmen, discussing the way forward of the kingdom, but none of them could speak about the barren nature of the queen mother, for it was forbidden to speak about the affairs of the royal family in public.
“My kinsmen and elders of Uboro kingdom, it is my pleasure to have you all here in council”, “palace”
I believe we all agreed to the persecution verdict passed on Ntuen Ibok, the notorious criminal? They merely nodded their heads, some with wrinkle faces, but the king proceeded saying, it may not feel so good but justice must prevail. And our tradition is supreme, let this serves as a warning for others who steal in uboro kingdom.
…..Objection my king” said one of the elders who had not spoken in council for 15 markets days now, he stammered his voice and particles of matter, slimly related to organic compost of bitter cola, alcohol and saliva drop off his mouth, his tooth were not complete, notably, he was old. And he said the following:..
“My king”, you said the tradition is supreme, and I concur, but is the tradition of having a successor to the throne not also supreme? Our beautiful Queen mother, “The goddess of the sun” has no child…who will take over Uboro kingdom on your demise?
Are you now praying for the king to die? …Ask the chief Commander, No, the gods forbid, but dead is certain for everyone especially me ..He replied. He coughed and sneezed carefully, his words brought confusion and silence amongst the Elders . Who was more powerful to break the silence, other than the monarch, The King Edem Ekong of Uboro kingdom whose eyes had turn reddish brown and heart beating faster than tortoise race speed….
**oh the gods of my fore fathers, why have thou forsaken me, he said this with a disheartening voice as he reached out for his snuff…even the King did not remember that it was forbidden to talk about royal matters in public….the elders started murmuring…**elder Osung should be banned from this council for bringing up a family issue** said one of the kinsmen… tears roll down the cheeks of the Queen mother as she left without saying a word
….From sunrise to sunset, market days to harvest seasons, the queen mother mourned and wept for not being able to conceive a child, she had crossed many rivers and oceans, and also visited many native doctors but all to no avail….
**There was an average family leaving peacefully in Ibaka kingdom, Chief Okon of Ibaka kingdom had only a child name Pamela, Pamela had received Western education at the Mary Hanney’s college,….Her mother Eka Ima was a trader who spend almost all of her day at the market square to put food on the table…
****Eka Ima, Where is your daughter Pamela, “Her husband spoke with a mild voice… he continued…When will she ever stay with us to look at one if those her big papers..
He was referring to the reading culture of his daughter, whose reading nature was nothing different from that of wild animals….Pamela loved reading in the woods under trees and shrubs…. This made her father vowed to claim any available local or international scholarship for her..
Pamela’s mother, Eka Ima was 8-months pregnant, she was a vitreous woman, they will manage to walk to the market square as Pamela will help her carry goods, such as fish, oil, yam, cocoyam, garlic and tomato as these were the source of their livelihood.
Mama , mama, said Pamela….yes my daughter……
Mama when I grow up I will buy you a market where everyone will come to buy from you, hahaha Smiled Eka ima..
You don’t need to buy a market for me, but promise me when I am no more that you will take care of your brother when he is born and protect and serve your fathers land, no matter where you go to, that you will always remember IBAKA your home…..Yes mama I promise.. replied Pamela….her mother had believed that she will give birth to a male child.
Pamela, please take some Afang leaf, palm oil, and fufu so that I can prepare Afang soup for you, Alright Mama ..Pamela jump with excitement as Afang soup was a very delicious one and the family’s favorite.
It was sunset, the sky changed her blue-white face to dark and cloudy, storm and lightening came, though mild, everybody started running helter skelter, it was not easy for Pamela, has her mother could only carry herself.
The Queen of Uboro kingdom traveled far to Ibaka kingdom in search of a male child to adopt, she went to the famous delivery home available at Ibaka kingdom, and she negotiated with the local midwife to get her a male child as this was her last way to maintain her throne and her position as the Queen mother and the goddess of the sun as the tradition demanded…
Expect Episode 2…..(coming soon)