It was the land clearing period in preparation for the planting season. We usually cleared the land and my father would hire the labourers to help him cultivate the land.
We had more than five plots of land from the community farmland. We farm the land every other year. It was a very fertile land and crops like Maize, yams, cocoyams and cassava did very well there.
My Father loved farming. He had always told us that it was the best occupation on earth. We had always stared at him in silence, listening with twitching ears and hoped he could see things the way we did.
He said that a farmer didn’t lack. He was right but not for his kind of farmer.
He was a poor farmer.
All we had was enough food to eat all through the year. We looked well fed but when it came to things money could buy, it became very hard to get them easily; good education, beautiful house, car or even father upgrading his bicycle to a motorcycle or a car, good clothes, and lots and lots of other things.
We only changed things like clothes and shoes during festive periods like, once a year or when they got beyond repair and the repairers said there was nothing left to do.
It was the twelfth month of the year and the harmattan season when the mornings were cold and we should all be wrapped up and peeping through our blankets or snoring. My father had told us the previous night that the next day would be spent on the farm.
My siblings and I hated going to the farm very early in the morning in those periods – the time when sleep was the sweetest. But my father said it was the best time for farm work. A time when the body would be well-rested and able to keep up with the amount of stamina required to lift the hoe and till or cultivate the land.
It was a Friday and Nkwo market day when he entered our room at exactly 5: 30 am to call us up. He called us up again and again when we refused to yield. Mother came to drag the blankets off our bodies.
“Get up and go to the farm. The sun is almost out. I don’t know what is wrong with the children of this generation. During our time, we got up by 4 am and went to the farm with lamps and worked till the day was gone. These days children wait for ready food at the golden table and whine if it’s not what they want. ……” She was still talking by the time she carried her pan on her head.
After morning prayers, we washed our faces, put ends of our chewing sticks in our mouths, picked our wooden hoes and rakes and headed to the farm.
Our last born had to stay at home to sweep the compound and warm the food. He was supposed to bring our own breakfast to the farm.
At the farm something unexpected happened. Someone had already cultivated our portion of the village land. Each kinsmen had their portion from our community land and from the portion each kinsman got a spot. It was our own spot that someone else had cultivated.
My father dropped his hoe and machete in shock and we all stood in line to watch.
“Who could this be father?” My brother asked.
“I have no idea.” father replied and remained as calm as he could.
“Let’s go back. I need to meet our kinsmen chairman.”
We all went home but father didn’t go with us. He went to complain to the chairman of the kinsmen about the issue at hand and came home with a disturbing explanation.
Someone had bought our portion of the land – without prior information to my father. Father said that was the biggest insult to his person as the son of soil.
We had many hectares of land in many place that were ours. The issue was that, the community farming portion was my father”s entitlement and a member of the community and if anything should be done with it, my father had the right to know.
As he was lamenting, deep down, I was sure Ukadi was the buyer. And even made up my mind never to forgive him forr that ever.
When the buyer later showed up as someone else who came to our house with the community leader to apologise to father, I found out it wasn’t Ukadi and my disappointment was enormous. I wished he was the one so he and my family would be deeper into acrimony to disqualify him further as my future husband.
© Florence Ezekafor
Hello, my awesome readers!
The stories I share with you here are my drafted stories.
My reason for sharing them is not to throw them away but to take you with me on my story writing journey so I could get your reactions or feedback and I’m happy that some of you truly enjoy and respond to them.
If you’re ten of you who enjoy them, I’ll keep sharing some of my drafts with you. My writing zeal gets stronger that way.
I’ll be drawing the curtain here for My Best Wedding Ruiner. It had been wonderful journying with you.
For those itching to know the it’s head and tail, the rewritten/edited version of that exciting story will be published when it’s ready. I’ll let you know when it’s available online.
Thank you very much for your constant support through your responses.
There are many of you to thank that this page may not contain all your names.
God bless you all.❤
God bless Fiez❤
Coming next under stories is the continuation of Dormain Chaos to be posted on Fridays. Hope you will enjoy it.