PART THREE Of Adebimpe
At the third cast of his cowries, followed by chants and songs of triumphs by the Ifa man, he had answers to the riddle in his palms.
“Ha! ha! Our King, King of the herbs, is in the next village. The man who converses with leaves, shrubs, and grasses”, he said with a lot of emphasis, is already in Esie.” He
Ordered; “Make haste, waste no time. Go and fetch him for
Installation”, he paused before continuing.
Omoladun omolasho. If a man has no clothing, farm-land or Gold, Odebunmi explained, “if he has a child. A good child is enough as wealth. For a precious wise child is worth more than the whole wealth in this world. Such a child is better than a thousand of “ordinary” children who can only bring ill-luck to their people.
“On the arrival and coronation of the new king,” he continued, “the whole world will witness a rapid growth of Okore land. Men and women on the farms would reap bumper harvests than ever in our land. Mortality of children and adults would reduce to nothing while barren women would cany children borne through their wombs. Women with pregnancies will have safe and peaceful delivery. Ashe! ati ashe!!” Odebunmi had affirmed and concluded. Others in the palace chorused the same.
The older man became pleased that he could carry the day after all. “They dare not disobey the oracle or else…” he thought and smiled broadly while rising from his seat.
The people smiled, though, not knowing the priest’s thought, while most of the former King’s children pretended to be happy. They gathered yams, corn, plenty of fruits, assorted spices, and one tin of red oil. They also got one sack of salt, including one bail of white cloth with
Four cocks and three hens. They packed all these together carefully. Two servants were appointed to carry the heavy load after the elderly Ifa priest. Two guards were to accompany him, the servants, and the gifts to his house. It was joyous to avoid any attack from hoodlums along the way to Amule compound, Odebunmi,” sang.
‘Ifa kipuro. ‘Ifa kisole!! Ifa kipuro! Ifa kisole!!
…Ohunkohun tobaselenifanwi’.!!’ There were drum beats and songs from the inner chambers as men and women in the palace sang with him while the senior prince, Obatuga, opened the floor with dancing steps. Others soon followed.
“After all,” thought the prince, a man is a man. I have all the wealth and powers to shake the town if I wish. But, I will give the King all the support he deserves so I can continue to hold my ground”.
He danced with the women and others to the extent that beads of sweat were forming on his forehead. The new King must be crowned on the next market day, which is the seventh day from then.
Before the appointed day of the coronation, Omoladun was located. He was to become a king in a strange land, to his astonishment. A land where he had no relations and his background was not known. To the dismay of all, he was to wed Adenike, the daughter of his best friend, Odebiyi, the hunter and farmer. The people of Okore land agreed to his decision to have the wedding and coronation on the same day. He must, however, agree to take up one of the princesses of the former King as wife along with Adenike. He couldn’t understand why he had to marry two wives when he planned to have just one.
Tradition forbids rejection of such an offer. Thus he consulted Adenike, who understood that it was the tradition, and she—knowing that she was undoubtedly going to be the first queen. For that purpose, she did not object to this. After all, her father was a polygamist and had only lost his first wife to an epidemic a few years back.
Kikelomo, the first adorable wife of the hunter, had bored him three strong sons, while Adenike was her only daughter. ‘Her three sons are already members of the town’s guards, good hunters, and prosperous farmers. They are all married and already on their own.
They all contributed to making her wedding a successful one.
The plans went as calculated. The coronation and double wedding took place on the same day. Omoladun, the cripple and son of a lost mother, Odebimpe, and late father, Odewale, who hailed from Omupo, were crowned a king in a strange land. The people of Okore were excited and happy that they had a king at last also. The whole town was painted red. Children did not want the day to end as there was more than enough to eat, drink and take away. Instead, they had prayed, out of ignorance, that the King would die again for such an event to replay itself. They nevertheless gathered that Omoladun had done so
He did much for so many people, through his practice of herbalism, for so little. And many of his clients whom he had treated cheaply or accessible in the past were the event’s chief sponsors. So many of them seized the opportunity to express their gratitude to the man who had saved their lives or benefited them in one way or the other. In the past, Gifts were endless. The King and his wives were all joyous throughout.
Amidst the feasting and merriment, and as Omoladun ponders if the whole event was a dream or not, he was still perplexed that such honor could be bestowed on him. not sure if it was: a dream and praying to wake up early enough to know the actual reality, news got round that some strangers had entered the town. The borders were either guarded or sealed that day to avoid intrusion and attacks from neighboring villages, especially those not on good terms with the Okore people.
The new King put his right hand on Adenike’s shoulder while conversing with his second wife, who was a princess to the immediate past king, Adebowale. Then, the news reached him. one of the palace messengers approached the throne and whispered to the new King. Some three women, serving as porters, entered the town earlier in the day. They explained to the King that the women claimed to have gotten information from three villages away that a ceremony was taking place. They decided to come to Okore town, hoping to find work to do and earn themselves some money and food.
How they were able to beat security at the border was a mystery. “Should they be brought before the king for judgment and punishment or be put behind the bar till the next day when the ceremony must have ended?” asked the chiefs. Hearing this, the King considered it an honor to perform his first public duty and convince his people that he was capable of rulership. He ordered that the offenders should be brought before him immediately. King Omoladun glowed with glamour.
“Despite his handicap,” no doubt, it was generally agreed. “he is going to make a good king.” He then continued to converse with his wives, and while doing that, he had a flashback. He suddenly stopped his conversation with his wives and looked into the air as if in some intense vision.
“The dream in the bush has come pass!!!” he murmured audibly. Everyone in the palace, including the two wives, was astonished at his sudden awareness. They had wondered what could have made the King suddenly grow severe and speak to himself. He was anxious but perplexed as he gazed across the palace toward the door. He couldn’t wait to see the suspects. Two giant lamps were already on the walls on either side of the palace. I sat back with eyebrows knitted and looked at
His two wives, one after the other. “They are both beautiful,”
They said to themselves and beamed a simile with a renewed memory.
Meanwhile, dancing and drumming bad ceased, and the whole palace was thrown into an incredible silence. The two queens displayed their perfect teeth despite everything as they smiled broadly. His clothes! He had on him beautiful and colorful attire. The floor of the palace, however, was not covered with some golden materials, but it was undoubtedly a colorful decoration.
The royal throne on which he was sitting was so soft that he felt that he would sink into its buttock. His throne was made of pillows with the finest wool in the land and covered with the best of aso oke material. The middle of the walkway to the throne from the doorpost was made of the same material.
All attention was directed at the King. He sat back Omoladun indeed looked royal and honorable but was confused at that time. I am going to be patient”. He thought to himself. But Love! Pure Love never can be polluted. His heart was somewhere outside the palace. The King now looks into the future with mixed feelings. He felt joy and anticipation—his heartbeat increased.
Three women, escorted by one guard in front of them who thought a giant but terrifying, and the other, vast chested, closely followed behind the women into the palace. The women, especially the eldest, look worn and rugged. The King sighted the woman as they appeared before him. His heart flow to meet them.
“Mother!” the King shouted without any restrain. This embarrassed all in the palace, including visitors. King Omoladun, with the speed of his thought, jumped off the throne, probably forgetting that he could not walk. He fell with a thud. He passed out as the people hurried to help him from the floor. His mother also ran to the spot to give a helping hand but was guarded off. She was not allowed to touch the King. She was confused. She had thought that Ommoladun would have been dead. “Could the King be my son? Could that be Omoladun, my cripple child? Child 1 left behind in Omupo town, now a King in an unknown land? No! It must be a dream.” she wondered.
They immediately rushed him into the inner chamber to attend to him. His two sisters were transfixed to the spot, sympathetic but too confused to understand the meaning of the ongoing event. The queens could not hold back their tears as they went after the crowd that rescued their beloved husbands. They looked worried and followed hurriedly with misty eyes.
That event marked the end of the ceremony. People were turned out of the palace. The news of the day’s event quickly traveled like wildfire in harmattan-infested grassland Okore town instantly went to sleep in fear and was only relieved at the arrival of the dawn.
The King lived, reunited with his family. The town also reawakened to complete activities the next day. It was another party galore in the palace, the effect which was felt even beyond the town. People who heard of King Omoladun’s benevolence to his people commended him. That the King was forgiving is evidence of good rulership. They stressed, “It was a matter of blood and water. m
That blood is thicker than water is not in doubt. Love reigns supreme. It encompasses all and conquers all adversities. One villager posted that Love is forgiving without bitterness and that Love between mother and child is a beautiful phenomenon. In comparison, some people thought Adebimpe. Omoladun’s mother deserved death by hanging. Others felt she should have been thrown into jail and made to suffer.
“What if the king had died in the forest?” they asked. “The woman acted wickedly and deserved to die,” they argued.
“Well, it was a mean to test and trials for the king,” others argued. “No one has ever, in history, worn the crown on a platter of Gold. Who knows, the cripple may never have risen to stardom or ascended the throne were he not abandoned by his mother”, they persisted. According to others, no reason should be for any mother or parent to abandon any child due to disability. Most often, ability inheres in disability, they explained.