Thankful for his narrow escape, Dafe retreated to his hut.
Tiredness weighed heavily on his feeble legs.
Along the way he noticed a little bright light in a distance.
It was a bit out of the ordinary. He knew these parts well.
Could it be the guards moving towards the palace?
Could it be someone burning stuff in the bushes?
But who would come all this way far from the village to burn?
Dafe moved a little faster toward the flame.
Kicking a tree stump along his path, he tripped and fell flat.
Bruising both knees, he jerked in pain.
He laid on the floor for a while. He pushed his lean body upwards placing his right hand on the tree stump that caused his fall.
Limping as he journeyed toward the sight.
Alas, it was his hut.
Is it a little fire I see in the front yard? he muttered
The slender tall figure of a woman pacing around the little stack of firewood.
Shocked, confused and afraid, Dafe hid behind a tree.
Visibly shaken by such a sight, he peed in his shorts.
What is going on?
Singing like lulling a babe to sleep. Soft moans from a aching child. Sounds behind the tree he had heard.
He crept up gently to peek again.
Unable to focus and piece together the mystery, Dafe leaned forward resting his body on the tree trunk.
The woman was tying a native wrapper.
She must be from around here, He thought.
She rocked a little baby singing and swinging all at once.
Then the baby began to cry.
The baby cried so much every time the woman moved it.
‘Is he better now?’ said a deep thunderous voice. The figure of a man emerging from behind Dafe’s hut.
He was tall and broad shouldered and quite muscular.
Who are these people? Where are they from? Querying the unfolding mystery.
Gozie, is in pains. She spoke softly curdling her baby. The fall must have hurt him badly, she continued.
There is nothing helpful around the hut, the man replied moving towards her.
‘By God these perpetrators would not go unpunished. See what they did to my son’, the man cursed throwing both arms in the air.
He pulled Dafe’s little seat closer to the fire. He sat down resting his chin on both hands.
She continued to pace around the fire place.
This time the baby was quiet and they continued their conversation.
‘Ifeanyi, we should be grateful we escaped alive. They meant ill, the woman responded.
Nneoma, is he asleep?
Bring him over here, Ifeanyi stretching his hands towards her.
Nneoma, gently placed the baby on his arm. You should avoid move his left leg, she spoke in low tune.
Dafe moved closer. This time there was a small bush between him and his uninvited guests. He bent down almost lying on the floor. The darkness had engrossed the forest by now. He knew he could no longer be a peeping-tom.
I think they are stranded. But what drove them to these parts of the forest?
He came out spontaneously.
Ifeanyi and Nneoma, raised their heads and saw a tiny figure gazing at them.
To Be Continued….