Scripted potpourri

A blend of topnotch writing prowess, significant issues and scintillating stories!

The Legend of a Peace of Meat


Once upon a time, there was a handsome young widower called Phillip Ndubisi. Phillip had a daughter from his first marriage. Her name was Patience. When Patience was fourteen, Phillip fell in love again and married a lovely lady called Paulina. Six years after, when they were least expectant, Paulina conceived. She gave birth to strikingly identical twins and named them Patrick and Patricia. In another three years, they had a girl whom they called Phillipa. Everyone was happy.

As legend had it, Phillip’s mother, had come visiting on one of those days. During that visit, Paulina, who was a faithful and hardworking wife, had characteristically served herself with two pieces of meat and had given her husband one. Phillip’s mother was greatly appalled by this and made it a mighty issue. For her, what Paulina did was evidence that her son was not being well fed, and it was in fact improper to have more meat in one’s soup than her husband’s. Paulina was saddened by this, but she was also very angry at Phillip because as his mother rained accusations at her, he said nothing; even as she insisted to her mother-in-law that Phillip actually preferred it that way because he had told her so himself.

Since then, since that epoch-making episode in the Ndubisi family, whether Phillip liked it or not, and even after he belatedly apologized to her, Paulina never failed to serve him with two pieces of meat. Or fish. Or ponmo. Or crab—in fact, a double of any chunk of protein that came with a meal. “For the sake of peace,” Paulina told her husband. “It is purely for peace.”

As expected, Phillip rarely touched the extra piece of meat. So Paulina would divide it among the children. This went on for some years until one fateful day when Patrick had gone to clear his father’s table. Carrying the tray of unfinished food, he suddenly declared with a flash of eureka, “I have colonized Daddy’s meat!” And that was how it all started. The greedy scramble and claiming of their father’s left-over meat had come to stay. And all of them colonized, from Patience, the first-born, down to the three latest additions to the Ndubisi family—Pius, Peace and Percy.

                                                ∞                     ∞                     ∞

“I have colonized Daddy’s turkey!” Nine-year old Phillipa hollered, saturating the apartment with her siren-like voice. As she scurried to the kitchen with the tray, her eyes were fastened purposefully on the untouched turkey. Exultant, she couldn’t remember the last time she colonized meat. It was always Pius, or Patrick, who always shared with his twin sister. “This turkey is mine.” Phillipa sang as she passed by Pius. He was in the living room at the moment, glowering at her.

“This turkey is mine.” Pius mimicked derisively. “If Mummy had not asked me to help Peace with her stupid homework, that meat would have been mine, as it always is!”

“My homework is not stupid.” Peace protested. But nobody heard her babyish voice because their mother was at that moment, scolding Pius and Phillipa: “Pius, you problem child.” She yelled, “You should have just said I am a stupid woman. If you are looking for a cry this evening, I will give it to you. And as for you, Phillipa, don’t you know you are growing up? Continue to play childish games with Pius.”

As Phillipa sulked away quietly, Pius snickered loudly. Hearing this, their mother, still stewing, picked up one of her slipper and flung it angrily at Pius. But out of boyish instinct, he ducked, and the slipper landed on Peace instead.

From the kitchen, Phillipa saw Peace’s face pucker and quiver, before she let out a deafening wail that sounded like something in-between a wounded cow and a wounded ram. Their mother was by Peace in an instant, and as she picked up her four-year old her to console her, she commanded Pius to kneel down and raise his hands.

This time, it was Phillipa’s turn to snicker and she did so quietly, deftly brushing away rice from the turkey. But just as she was about to sink her teeth dreamily into it, the kitchen door opened and Patience trudged in looking like she had trekked to Egypt with the Israelites. “Phillipa, abeg,” Patience exhaled, “Two things: come teach me national anthem, biko. The second stanza. I don forget o. The stupid interview wey I go today, na so dem say make I sing o. My sister, if you hear the nonsence wey commot for my mouth eh, you go pity Nnamdi Azikiwe wey compose am.” At this, Phillipa laughed heartily, cradling her turkey and wondering how anybody in the world would not know the national anthem. “Secondly,” Patience continued, “I take God beg you, abeg, give me that thing wey you dey chop. Hunger don kill me finish”

Phillipa’s laughter dried up as fast as methylated spirit in harmattan. She looked at her eldest sister and then back at her prized possession. “I can’t.” she mumbled. “I just colonized it.” Taking a bite, Phillipa added, “but I can teach you the national anthem, and tell you that Nnamdi Azikiwe did not compose it.”

Patience hissed, shaking her head. “Children of nowadays; no fear!” Marching out of the kitchen, she promised to pay Phillipa back in her own coin. “Wha-e-vah,” Phillipa muttered. Just then, she heard her mother calling for her. “I’m coming!” she yelled, as she put the meat down and ran.

“Go and tell Patrick and Patricia that if they don’t come back home immediately, I will stuff Cameroonian pepper in their bombom. Go now!” Her mother commanded. “Come and pass the front door o, because I know that if you go through the kitchen, you will go and first sleep there with that turkey. It is not running away, ngwa nu.”

Phillipa almost cried. As she ran to their neighbour’s house to fetch Patrick and Patricia, she did so with all sense of speed and urgency. Yet, she couldn’t help but mourn her colonized turkey. That piece of meat that was rightfully hers was now at the mercy of vengeful Patience and that kill-joy, Pius. Phillipa didn’t know when she started to pray, “In Jesus’ name; in the mighty name of Jesus! Father Lord, in the name of Jesus, I cover my meat by the blood of Jesus! Father Lord, let Sister Patience not come out of her room and let Mummy not tell Pius to stand up from his punishment. In Jesus’ name; in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

When she returned, the meat was well… gone. And true to her fears, Patience was in the living room, chattering away in Igbo with her mother. Pius was nowhere in sight. Full of hurt and resolve, Phillipa stomped to where Patience and her mother sat. “Sister Patience, I will not teach you the national anthem again. Ever! And Pius, wherever you are, you will pay!”

                                                ∞                     ∞                     ∞

“Phinipa, net me tell you something.” Peace was saying to Phillipa. “See, today, my cheacher said dogs eat bones.”


“Yes. If I have a dog, I will feed it because I have bones.”

Phillipa sighed, rolling her eyes at the four-year-old’s naïveté. “Peace, everyone has bones but they are not for dogs, you hear?”

“No. I have real bones. They are in Percy’s tiny bed.”

Bones in the baby’s cot? “Well, how did they get there?” Phillipa asked.

Peace shrugged. “I cononize the meat. Then I gave baby Percy the bone so that he can cononize it. But it is still there. Baby Percy don’t know how to cononize.”

Phillipa stopped short. Was she hearing correctly? “Peace, who gave you meat to colonize?”

“Nobody.” Peace replied with a shake of her head. “I cononize it by myself in the kitchen that time that you did not finish cononizing it; that time that Mummy’s slippers fell on my head.”

                                                ∞                     ∞                     ∞

… And according to the sacred, timeless Legend of the Colonization of Meat in the Ndubisi Family, the only reason why Phillipa forgave her naïve little sister on that fateful day was because of the legend itself. For indeed, the meat was for Peace’s sake. All meat meant for colonization was after all, purely for Peace.

forgiveness for peace




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