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THE CRAYFISH EATER

Papa insisted I show him where the crayfish poured as I denied eating the crayfish but firmly said that I fell down on my way home and almost half poured.

I always pray mama forgets to buy crayfish so I can eat as much as I wanted when I’m sent to buy.

That fateful evening, I sat by the mango root very close to the kitchen and watched my friends play “oga” while eating the fried groundnut mama bought for me earlier from the market.

Mama beckoned on me to come.

“Nne, I forgot to buy crayfish”.

My heart leaped for joy. It’s been a while I got good quantity of crayfish to eat.

“Buy #10 crayfish and please, run”. She said untying the edge of her wrapper. She brought out rumpled #20 note and handed to me.

“Run…. run ooh and be back before this saliva dries up”. She said spitting on the floor. I moved like breeze out of joy that I was going to eat crayfish to my fill.

I had developed the habit of eating more than half of the crayfish. Every single day, I prayed mama won’t remember to buy crayfish.

Little did I know papa was already aware of what I do and had waited patiently for mama to bring my case to him.

That beautiful evening, I came back with half crayfish and handed it to mama.

She looked at the crayfish and then to me

“What’s this? She said

I looked at her without saying anything

“Did you eat it”?

Eat? No ooh

“This crayfish is what they sold to you”?

“No…. yes… but…”

“Shut up. What happened to the crayfish”?

“It poured on the way as I was coming back. It fell down and scattered. This is what I managed to pack from the floor”.

“And I’m not seeing any sand inside”?

“I carefully picked them”.

You? Carefully picked… see this one that can’t separate beans from stone.

She looked at me for a while and signalled papa who was relaxing under the mango tree in his bamboo sit with a hand fan eating roasted corn.

Mama, don’t call him please.

Are you ready to talk?

Before I finished answering the question, papa was already behind me.

Ogini? He asked chewing his corn

Your daughter said she bought this crayfish for #10 and I want you to help me look at it.

He looked at me for a while.

I…I… didn’t say I bought it like this. I said it fell from… my hand and poured in a dirty place and I couldn’t pack most of them.

‘Come and show me’. Papa said.

All my plan had been that if they insisted I take them to where it poured, then I was going to steal a little quantity from the crayfish and pour somewhere and show as evident where it poured.

I didn’t succeed.

Papa didn’t give me the opportunity to enter the house. He told me to lead the way as he followed up.

“It’s better you tell me what you did now and don’t waste my time because this won’t be funny. You won’t like the result.

My mind was made up. Truth mustn’t be told unless I won’t be allowed to go buy crayfish anymore.

I have to find another lie.

I made a quick halt. Bent down immediately and supported myself with my hands on my knees.

‘My tummy. Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!! I can’t stand again. I want to poo poo. Aaaaaahhhhhhh’.

Papa looked at me and smiled.

What’s that?

My tummy. I can’t move again.

“I’ll back you. Come”. he said bending down for me to get on his back.

I was in for a big mess.

“When I’m done with you today eeeh?
You will never eat crayfish again unless you see it inside food”.

I was shaking.

Papa can never beat with his bare hands. He must find a cain and he must clench his teeth to flog you to his satisfaction.

We walked and walked.

Papa turned back without talking to me.

Bent down and picked up a cain.

The rest is history.

Papa kept his promise.
Till this day, I have not tested raw crayfish.
If I dare, I’ll vomit the whole day.

This is among the things I did in the dark

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Nwabueze Favour is a blogger, writer, content developer, a data analyst and a development enthusiast. A social media expert, an avid reader and a lover of books, music and movies.

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