‘Boju, boju o…
Oloro n bo…
Catch me if you can…’
The game with its attendant delight swung into another dimension that afternoon. And with Jumoke on board, it was never a dull moment. The teenage girl has mastery in spicing up practically all of our local games with a bit of English language.
Unlike the rest of us, Jumoke and her parents were city dwellers and merely visited the village for holidays. At first, she snubbed playing with any of the village kids but as time went on; she threw her pride aside like an old doll and became involved in almost all of our games.
Christmas season meant so much for us children. On one of the celebrations, Jumoke’s affluent parents organized a big Christmas party for children within the neighbourhood.
A strong aroma besieged my nostrils the moment I stepped my feet into the residence of the Animashauns, and in tandem, my mouth produced sizeable quantity of saliva which I quickly swallowed. I ran my eyes from one tray to the other at the array of mouthwatering dishes. At another section of the table, I spotted giant sized pieces of meat waiting for a ready devourer.
A popular tune blared from the huge speaker and I saw Jumoke dancing with some of her sibblings. A handful of other kids joined them while some merely tapped their feet to the rhythm of the cool music.
My nomadic eyes finally settled on a slightly greenish rice fully garnished with all kinds of mede mede in a big tray.
The highlight of the party eventually came.
‘Children, feel free and indicate the food of your choice,’ Mrs. Animashaun announced.
A young lady conducted us in a queue. Carrying our plates as though we were in a sort of refugee camp, we walked past different dishes.
‘Please I want that green rice,’ I uttered with glistening eyes.
‘Oh dear,’ the Caterer smiled, ‘it is called fried rice.’
She scooped in a generous portion and I moved on to my seat. The moment the delicious food landed on my tongue, I found myself on another realm.
‘This is paradise!’ I mumbled.
The eating extravaganza continued. That was the first of its kind in the village.
As the day wore on, the number of guests began to deplete, but not for me. My craving for more of those delicacies was yet to be assuaged.
‘Opportunity comes but once,’ My instincts whispered, ‘grab it!’
I began another round of eating spree. At the climax of this gusto, my bulging belly rebelled but my insatiable nature snubbed it. At that instant, one of Mama’s fables came alive.
Whenever you are eating any one of your toes is faced downwards, the food would be emptied into the earth.
I swung into immediate action. This time around, the whole of my toes were faced downwards but the rebellion persisted…
I began gasping for breath.
‘Somebody, please help!’ I muffled.
Grabbing my protruded tummy, I squirmed on the floor like a pregnant woman due for delivery.
Few minutes later, a handful of people clustered around me and gradually, I passed out…
‘That will teach you the lesson of your life,’ Maami scolded me the moment I came out from the restroom; my seventh within the space of fifteen minutes.
‘I will ne…ver do… it.. aga..ain’ I stuttered.