Those years gone by…



Baaba took the tray and led me into the house. I think I got a kobo to buy fried fish for myself for having suffered a fall. She was glad I suffered no injuries. If she wondered how I got to pick all the masoro and kanunfari from the sand, she didn’t show.

Days ran into months quickly. My school continued to suffer because I only remembered that my uniform was dirty in the morning. Once Baaba made me wear it wet, and she walked me to school that day. As expected, I got flogged because I was late. That day too, Baaba did her own flogging, because she noticed the tins she had filled to the brim were almost half empty and I swore I didn’t make any sales.

“Toh ya akayi suka rarragu?”

“Wallahi ban sani ba, kila da na je fitsari ne aka sace”

“Kai Patu, Kai Patu, kina son ki lalace!”

“A’a, wallahi ba lalacewa bane, Baaba na rantse!”.

Needless to say my rantsuwa didnt work and my buttocks may still bear the marks of those strokes. 

And what was it with people sef, that they won’t stop the beating but advise on how it should be done? I was happy with Baaba’s slaps, but the nosy neighbours would ask her to use the cane. Oh and Baaba would sit and cry after beating me. I used to wonder why she would beat at all if it hurt her so.

Once a liar, always a liar. Baaba would stop believing even the truths I told. For it was honestly the truth when I came back one and told her

“Baaba wallahi yau kaza yai mana bari”.

She took the tray and didn’t say a word. She never sent me out to hawk again and she discovered that she made more sales at home. People bought from home and no matter what I said, Baaba would not give me her tray to go hawking again.  She had her plans. One was returning me to my parents. She didn’t want to be the reason Patu turned out different.


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