ON THE LIONESS TAIL.
By Amah’s Heart.
Opa was supervising the workers at the field alongside her daughter.
A servant came to inform her that her husband requested for her presence.
She quickly left with the carriage that was sent.
As she got to the palace, she saw her husband, his father and uncle in a middle of a discussion.
She walked up to them, knelt in greeting.
Chief Pasi, Dre’s father gave her a warm smile before asking her to stand.
“How are you doing my daughter, hope the weather suits you?
He asked her cheerfully
“I’m well Chief and the weather is friendly.
Chief Pasi smiled.
“I’m please to hear that. Dre said you are carrying a seed to the throne…a son. He said the gods revealed it through dream to him. Although the gods has not revealed so to me but ‘m glad and very hopeful. you have all the blessings of this kingdom as you about to bless them with a great seed. Anything you need will surely be provided… all you have to do is to mention whatever it is…
All Opa could do was to bow, flash a smile and thank her father in-law, the chief of Zukumo.
As she was about to turn Mario suddenly spoke.
“And to add to what chief, my dear brother had said I hope is a boy like your husband is making us all believe. If chief Pasi will agree with me…this kingdom needs a strong ruler like himself. A real royal blood. A true son of the soil who will stand the test of time. It was supposed to be a first child…a male to be precise. only him has such full right to sit on this throne but unfortunately you failed in that aspect by giving us a hen for a first child instead of a son. The chief will pardon my use of words because I meant no harm but only want the best for this kingdom. Your first seed being a girl was quiet disappointing yet very pardonable since another chance for a male child is still available. We all hope you won’t fail the people of Zukumo kingdom this time…
Opa was infuriated with every of Mario’s word but for the sake of the Chief and her husband she swallowed up her anger.
She looked straight at Mario who has a mischievous smile plastered on his face and said with the most loving voice yet burning with rage in heart.
“I hope so too my lord.
She looked at her husband, he was looking back at her with anger in his eyes.
She returned her look to chief Pasi
“Your highness, can I leave now?
She asked politely.
Chief Pasi nodded.
She took a bow before walking away.
Opa entered the house, gently sat on a wooden carved chair.
Her head was relaxed back and her eyes shot.
After sometime her husband entered the house.
Opa opened her eyes and look as he pace up and down the room.
“two things I want to address and make clear so that it won’t happen again…
He drew a chair and sat close to her.
“…I don’t want you going to the field or anywhere until our son is born. If you need to urgently go to anywhere at all… then you have to let me know for approval. Do you understand the kind of baby in your womb Opa? Is not an ordinary child…is a heir, a royal blood, a strong seed to the throne…my first son who will be a Chief after me. He will rule the people of Zukumo land and unite kingdoms. Like my great grand father did, my grand father did, like my father is doing, like i will and the list goes on. This isn’t a punishment Opa, is to protect you and the baby from any mishap.
Opa kept quiet without interrupting.
…” Another thing is that I don’t like the way you answered uncle Mario. That wasn’t the answer I expected of you…
Opa quickly interrupted.
“Oh Dre, I forgot to give him a medal for insulting me with his word. Or maybe I should have prostrated and thank him for referring to our daughter as a hen…
“Opa…I will pardon this your arrogance and overlook your sharp unbridled tongue due to the ragin hormones of pregnancy and for the fact that you are carrying a son for me but be aware that I don’t like being interrupted when I’m speaking. I was expecting you to assure Mario that truly you are carrying a male child, a great seed to the throne of zukumo. Not “I hope so” such answers infuriates me…it makes it looks like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Such answer seems like we’re on a different page. Opa, I’m your husband, not only that, I’m also the next chief of our people. you are supposed to support me in everyway possible. Is that too much to ask? Do you understand the pressure on my shoulder? I expected more than “I hope so” kind of reply that you gave to uncle Mario. Please, let such not repeat itself again.
Dre left, leaving Opa to think over everything he said.
Opa decided to play along with the whole thing just the way her husband wanted.
She did everything he ask of her for peace sake.
She play along with the whole thing until villagers started sending in gifts for a male child her worries increased.
“Is being heard that the gods has favoured you by opening your womb to carry a prince for Zukumo kingdom. You are favored among women…here is my gift for the prince yet unborn. I personally handpicked this fruits so that when you eat them the son in your womb will also benefit from it.
Another villagers came.
“I took my time to knit this baby Shaw for the prince of Zukumo yet to be born. It has three different color. I started since the first sight of the new moon till the end of it just for you to know the energy I put into the work. Our prince deserves only the best. We’re all waiting patiently till when he will finally be born.
And another villager.
“This she goat has served I and my entire household for years. We use the milk gotten from her to feed the entire household. This she goat has also produce many children for my family. Is very special to us and that was why I brought her as a gift to the great seed in your womb. May the gods who gave you the blessing of being a mother to the heir of Zukumo also grant you safe delivery.
Many villagers troop in with different gifts for the child in Opa’s womb whom they believe is a male.
As the day draws near, Opa’s fear increased. Her husband was looking forward to welcoming a son
The villagers likewise.
Mario was hoping she will disappoint again and give birth to a girl.
Opa did not stop hoping and praying that it will happen as is generally believed.
Opa was walking around their flower garden with Maya her daughter when Mario’s 2nd wife, Tira came visiting.
Opa wondered why she came.
“I was told that you are resting here. How are you and the baby doing?
Opa took that for a good visit and replied her cheerfully.
She asked one of the servants to take Maya for a walk while she sit to talk with Tira.
“You and your husband has finally convinced the entire village that you are having a male child. Well, is all good if truly what you carry is a male child. But if not the wrath of Zukumo will decend heavily on you. I see the way they bring in different gifts and sing your praise. Is your time to be happy and rejoice if truly the child in your womb is a son like is generally believed. But if not… only the gods will save you from mockery and shame that will befall you. By the way my first son Romo is going to be a Chief someday. His father has been preparing him for such a great and royal task just in case you fail in that aspect. Salabi failed to produce a male child for Mario. She has three girls with no son. Mario was quick to action and married me. my first seed was a female but the gods didn’t disappoint me in the second. My second child was a true son of the soil. This is why Mario values me more than Salabi. I’m just here to warn you and to also let you know that Romo will be the next chief of Zukumo if you fail to produce a seed. Mario, my dear husband is giving him adequate training, preparing him ahead of time. The chieftain may probably come to Mario house…is just a matter of time. Enjoy your rest Opa…
She smile before standing up to leave.
Just as she was walking away, Opa spoke.
“I really don’t know the reason for your visit Tira but be aware that the chieftain will never come to your son because he’s not fit for a leader. Romo is just like his father, prideful and tricky. The people of Zukumo doesn’t need such leader. You and your husband should start thinking of getting a third wife who will produce a good seed or even Fourth if the third end up giving Mario hens for children. I’m not the type of woman you can threaten…. be warned.
Tira raised her two hands innocently.
“I meant no harm Opa. Pardon me if my words get to you but is still the bitter truth.
She walked away.
Opa decided to go and visit Dre’s mother who lives within the palace.
Bambira, the Chief’s wife has been quiet ever since the whole saga concerning her pregnancy started.
On her way, Opa felt a sharp pain.
She pause and held her stomach.
Her personal maid asked her if she was alright.
“Is just a normal contraction…. I’m fine.
As she was about taking another step the sharp pain hit her even harder this time.
She stood, held onto something as she tries to suck in the pain.
Her maid helped her into the house.
“Let me rush and fetch the midwife…my lady. I guess the most expected child is about to be born.
Opa’s maid rush out happily to call the palace midwife.