Igwe Ofordili: (Facing the Midwife who helped Queen Amaka to deliver) don’t leave this hut okay.
Midwife 2: Yes your highness.
The elders of Ogidi Village trooped into the Palace and went to sit in their chairs as they await the presence of their King.
None of them wasted any time once the palace guard had come to inform them that their presence were urgently needed in the palace.
Igwe Ofordili came to meet them and went to sit on his throne chair.
Elders: Igwe e ga di ooo (you will live oo)
Igwe Ofordili: (Raised his ofor to quiet them) Thank you my elders for your quick response.
Onowu: Igwe may you live long for us. I have to hurry because with the way your guard sounded seem like there is fire on the mountain.
Elders: (nodding their heads to what Onowu said)
Exactly your highness (They said in unison)
Igwe Ofordili: My two wives has just given birth early this morning.
Elder Okeke: Wow that is good news your highness. May the gods be praised.
Igwe Ofordili: (Smiled) My second wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl (then frown) but my first wife whom I thought the gods has remembered gave birth to a baby girl but the girl is ugly very ugly. If I didn’t know Amaka very well I would have said a mad man impregnates her. That is why i called you all to know what might be the cause. I mean how can the gods finally remember my wife and give her
an ugly child? They could have left her just the way she is.
Elder Udo: Igwe may you reign. How can you say your child is ugly? Probably you didn’t see the child well.
Igwe Ofordili: (Though not offended) I, Ofordili whose eyes is as sharp as a lion did not see the ugly child well? Ebuka (he called one of his palace guards with him) Go and tell the midwife in Queen Amaka’s hut to bring that child here immediately, tell her to come with you. (The guard went to do as ordered soon he returned with the midwife carrying a little bundle in her arms, her face was squeeze in a disgusting way a little)
Midwife 2: Greetings your Royal Highness, Greetings the elders of Ogidi. (Igwe Ofordili and his elders acknowledge her greetings)
Igwe Ofordili: Let me not beat around the bush, Nwaga, show all my elders around here that child with you. I want them to see the child with their own eyes. (The midwife went round showing them the child. Each elders once they saw the face of the child, their face will change into a disgusted look some were saying ‘Tufiakwa’. Once she was through) thank you, you can go and give my wife the child back. (The midwife left his presence)
Elder Okoro: Igwe, I am confused, how can your wife give birth to such an ugly baby when you are a good-looking man and she is a beautiful woman?
Elder Okeke: Don’t be confused Okoro, I think the fault comes from the queen side, maybe one of her ancestors was this ugly before he or she dies and now it has come to the child.
Onowu: You may be right or wrong Okeke, but all I know is that the child is so ugly. Igwe, you know that every village look up to you. Having an ugly child will make them look down on you.
Igwe Ofordili: So what do you want me to do about the child?
Onowu: I suggest we either kill her or throw her into the evil Forest to die of hunger.
The great chief priest appeared right in their midst.
Chief priest: You will do no such thing Ofordili, unless, you want the wrath of the gods upon your entire household and village.
Igwe Ofordili and his elders were surprised to see the chief priest. They greeted him and he refused to acknowledge their greetings.
Igwe Ofordili: Wise one you haven’t seen the ugly child yet that is why you….
Chief priest: (Interrupting Ofordili) I don’t need to see her but know this Ofordili, that child mustn’t be harm, she must live. That is the message from the gods. Remember Ofordili, the gods of our ancestors sees and knows everything and when the time comes, the evil ones will get their punishment (He disappeared as quickly as he came)
Onowu: We can not question the gods, since we are out of options, what do we do?
Igwe Ofordili: (heaved out a sigh) like the chief priest said the child must not be harmed so I am leaving everything in the hands of the gods but they should know, I will not take any responsibility that comes with that child.
Elder Udo: A good idea Igwe, a very good idea.
The sun has gone to rest, the moon takes his place as the darkness begins to surround every Villages.
Queen Amaka has just gone to bed, she had used her hand to bath her daughter since everyone in
the palace was avoiding the child. They didn’t want to contact her ugliness.
In Queen Amara’s hut, she made sure her son, Jidenna, was fast asleep and her newborn daughter was asleep before she brought out the calabash hidden beneath her bamboo bed and opened it. It was empty and old that one would see it as nothing.
Whispering some words, the face of the giant Queen was in the calabash.
Queen Amara: (Smiling) Mother, you never cease to surprise me.
The Giant Queen: Has she given birth?
Queen Amara: Yes she has, and like you said, her daughter is ugly. Everyone in the palace was talking about it. Thank you mother for keeping to your words.
The Giant Queen: (Her head magically turned around in circle before stopping to face her daughter once more) The battle has just started, be very careful and make sure you show no pity to her daughter.
Queen Amara: (Smiling widely) You can always count on me mother.
The calabash cleared and she put it right back under her bamboo bed.
The suffering of Amaka daughter has just started…..
As she was about to lie down a man appeared in the hut, he was dressed in all white and his back was facing her.
Queen Amara quickly became alert to the unknown presence in her hut.
Queen Amara: (With a strong voice) Who are you and what are you doing in my hut?
Unknown Man: Don’t gloat over your victories yet Amara, they are watching you.
Queen Amara: You better leave to wherever it is you come from or I will be forced to send you to the River of Dead Souls.
Unknown Man: Remember Amara, the gods are watching. (He disappeared and Amara gave out a long loud hiss)
To Be Continued
C.H.E.T.A ( I Am Not Ugly)