ON THE LIONESS TAIL
By AMAH’S HEART
He moved closer to him and began to shake him but he didn’t respond.
He decided to push him but still he didn’t respond.
He punched him harder on his chest expecting him to respond this time but all he did was to flinched in pain.
“Father…father… please wake up. The medicine man is here. Please don’t die…. please father. You and mother should stop scaring me for the sake of the gods…”
Mario felt dizzy but still couldn’t sit up.
“Move aside let me examine him. Since you mentioned he was vomiting blood and same goes with your mother and to the rest of the people…is either poison or something more.
The medicine man bent over him, checking lord Mario while Romo stood watching silently.
It continued for long before he went over to Tira who was lying in another wooden bed.
He continued examining them.
After sometime he straightened and turned to Romo.
“This one is beyond me, I have never seen such in all my years of expertise in medicine. i haven’t seen anything like this. It appears like poison but is something more than that. It looks like their entire organ is almost damaged, their heart beat decreases it’s pace with each shifting of the sun. Your father is aware of his presence but whatever he took is cribbling his activeness. Do you have an idea what happened to them…
Romo combed his hand into his head.
He breathed heavily before replying the medicine man.
“Mother brought a strange leaf that she happened to found. They called it tekah… It heals all manner of sicknesses and father instructed mother to prepare it for meal. She prepared it as instructed by father and garnished it with piglet brain and gizzards. Father invited his friends and they began feasting. They said it will enable them not to ever fall sick for the rest of their lives. They will never be ill again. It was after they finished merrying that different sickness began to occur on their bodies. I thought it will stop but it gets worst. Please you have to help them… don’t let them die..
“Why aren’t you suffering the after effects with them… or you didn’t join in the feasting??
The man asked Romo and he responded.
” Something held me back…I don’t know. But i didnt feel like joining them even after father tries to force me. I told him I will rather eat later and he put mine aside but I never touched it.
The medicine man began to pack his tools.
“You mentioned tekah… How on earth did it get into their hands? Tekah leaf works wonder but if wrongly used it causes many havocs. They said a lioness guards the tree inside a cave and if the gods are not with the person going to get it he will become meal for the beast. Many has gone but never returned. Whoever brought it must have gotten the favor of the gods and the last time I heard it was princess Kaya…the daughter of the Chief that brought it to this village which she uses to cure both her father and many others. Your mother probably stole it or forcefully collected it without knowing how’s it been administered. I can’t do more than I have already done. Find another solution for them, my work is done.
Romo begged the man but he didn’t turn back. He left without looking back.
Romo noticed his father was trying to say something and quickly went to him.
“Father, I’m right here. What are you saying… your words are not clear. Father… father…
Lord Mario was mentioning a name.
Romo listened closely and realized he was asking him to go and fetch Kaya.
He asked him to plead to her to come over quickly, She may have a solution to their illness and may even plead to the gods to show them mercy.
Romo wondered how he will go and meet Kaya after all that his father did to her family.
Which face will he use to approach her and ask for her help?
They are always at loghead with each other and never agrees on anything.
His father worsen it by going the extra mile to hurt her family just to clear way for him to become the next chief.
He has never been in agreement with his father’s ways but have to go along with whatever he says or do in order to please him.
Indirectly his father had always been afraid of Kaya after her great deeds went round the village.
He refused to show it mainly because she is a woman. He did not back down with his quest for power. He was too drunk with it and refused to stop pursuing this great curse.
It was obvious that Kaya has the ears of the gods and even serves as their mouth piece.
She was a woman with a difference and specially chosen to rule.
His father has scolded him severally anytime he tells him that he was no more interested to become the next chief.
He wants to embrace peace and not make enemy with people like Chief Dre’s family.
“As far as I’m alive and they remain in that throne, they will always be our enemy and we must try to eliminate our enemies before they do worst to us…
His father has said and he nodded in agreement but deep down he wish he can disagree with him even for once.
His father will skin him alive if he dares goes against his orders.
He feared his father greatly and comply with all his wishes.
He wanted to become the next Chief as his father pleases.
He became enemy with Chief Dre’s household as his father’s pleases.
He married the woman his father chose for him.
Everything he has ever done is for his father.
His refusal to partake in the meal wasn’t even in his own accord some kind of strength or forces he thought he never posses pushed him to turn down the whole thing that seems like enjoyment and the same strange force made his father not to push him hard further in feasting with them which is unlike him.
Despite that his father remained some of it for him to eat at his leisure but still he never did.
He was afraid of the unknown.
Going over to ask Kaya to come and heal his father is way too much.
What if she picked offense, what if she refuses, what if…
Romo decided not to allow his fear to get the best of him.
He decided that he will go over to plead with Kaya to come and help his father if is not too late already.
Whatever will happen let it happen but he prays the gods will be merciful to him through Kaya.
Dhaki was infuriated with the strangers calmness.
“…I asked you again. Who are you and what are you doing with my wife…
Somebody spoke behind him.
He turned and it was Kaya.
“Stop this whole madness Dhaki. Get yourself together. I’m not yet your wife and Yuri here, meant no harm…
“You are almost my wife Kaya, what is the difference? Our marriage is just around the corner… and in few days you will become mine. Yuri or whatever you call him shouldn’t be trespassing. His presence disgust me, there is a certain way he looks at you that makes me want to strangle him. I don’t like him Kaya. You shouldn’t have spend a night at his place nor bring him here…how exactly do you want me to feel over all this? I don’t care if he’s a friend, you are mine Kaya and your friendship with him should be limited. You can’t be friends with a man who looks at you with something more in his eyes…
Chief Dre and Opa came outside with the whole noise coming from an angry prince Dhaki
“What is going on here?
Chief Dre asked. And before Kaya could say anything Dhaki interrupted still boiling with anger..
“My wife to be… your daughter brought in a total stranger and when I enquired to know who he was she told me he was her “great friend” and even spent a night at his place. She undoubtedly said it without considering how I felt. I wanted him out but she saying that my annoyance is a total madness. She defends him right in my presence. As her husband to be who will without doubt rule this Kingdom alongside…i demand that this stranger should leave this premises at this instinct and never in his life come close to Kaya ever…again. before I open my eyes he should be gone..
Every where became silent as everyone looked on.
Chief Dre and Opa knows better to keep quiet. They knew is something that their daughter can handle and decided to only watch and contribute when necessary.
Dhaki opened his eyes and Yuri was still standing and looking at him.
“By the gods… this man is trying my patients. Why are you still here… why haven’t you go and hang your clothes where you belong. Are you daring to see what i will do to you???
Prince Dhaki shouted angrily.
Yuri gasped out and shakes his head pathetically.
He looked at Kaya in a loving way infuriating prince Dhaki even more.
He said calmly while looking at Kaya.
“I will leave only with this condition, if the order comes from Kaya. Leaving here will only be at Kaya’s command or her parents…but none other than them.
Chief Dre curved a smile which he tried not to show. He likes Dre kind of person already and felt that prince Dhaki was overacting.
Dhaki turned to Kaya and said.
“Kaya… you heard him. Ask this man to leave here before i explode. He insults me when he said you and your parents are the only ones that has a say over him leaving or not. This is the reason why I wanted us to get married before now but you kept delaying the whole process. So, as your husband to be and the next prince that will be ruling Zukumo kingdom with you. I demand to be respected in the same measure and I want that respect to start now by asking this total stranger who knows nothing about you to leave right now…
Yuri stared at Kaya.
Prince Dhaki, Chief Dre and Opa looked at Kaya.
Waiting for what she will do next.
Kaya moved closer to Dhaki and said angrily.
” What right do you have to ask my visitor to leave? Dhaki, you have no right whatsoever to demand for respect when you insult me without thinking. If you are going to be my husband then having respect for others, minding the kind of words that flows out of your mouth when angry and also letting go of your jealousy and low self-esteem is included in the list. Not just leaving your kingdom, settling in this land and ruling Zukumo with me is the only thing in the list. Selflessness, not quick to anger, care for others, kindness, love for humanity and most of all respect is also on that list and you have failed in this major aspect which leaves me to think about this whole marriage thing all over again.
The whole atmosphere became quiet and tensed.
Chief Dre was proud of his daughter.
He spoke up to ease the tension.
“Kaya…I guess this is the man that I asked you to bring so that I can thank him personally for going out of his ways, risking his life in the process of getting a cure for our people.
Kaya turned and replied her father with a nod.
Chief extended a hand shake to Yuri.
He gladly took it with smile plastered on his face.
Chief Dre invited him over to his throne room.
He sent messages to the elders of the kingdom to come so that everyone can see the hero that save the remaining sick villagers of Zukumo.
Prince Dhaki was left standing as everyone deserted him.
He boils angrily but couldn’t do anything.
Kaya later came back to inform him to leave so that she will have time to think.
She said the marriage has been postponed because she wasn’t sure of him and the gods revealed something else to her which she refused to say.
Dhaki mounted his horse and left but hoping to come back.
Because it seems Kaya was very angry with him and he doesn’t want to offend her the more by staying.
Despite the good that the stranger happened to have done for Kaya’s people he wasn’t sure of him and doesn’t like him still.
He will lay low until everything is settled down so that he can return to claim his wife who will also be the next chief of Zukumo kingdom.
Yuri was celebrated in Zukumo.
He was asked to stay till the following day which he did gladly.
Kaya was about taking a stroll with Yuri to the girls camp when Romo came to her in a hurry.
Begging her to come and see his parents who are dying after feasting on tekah leave.
Kaya wondered how they got hold of the tekah.
She thought of Uzan, which may be the only explanation.
Yuri has warned that if the tekah gets into a wrong hand is far too dangerous.
She left what she was doing and followed Romo. She dragged Yuri along.
Yuri followed her without hesitating.