Today I watched a Facebook video of a little boy hugging his pet chicken and it sent me on a stroll down memory lane.
In my culture, it’s customary to give your guests something to go back home with. It is a much ignored tradition now but when I was growing up, in places like my village it was still highly respected.
One day my mother took my sisters and I to visit a relative that had last seen us when we were just little babies. So this relative is very excited to see us, she gives us a hen as a gift – something to go back home with. On the drive home we tell mum how we didn’t want to eat this chicken, we preferred to keep it as a pet. She agreed saying it was a wise call.
However, one fateful evening as we came back from school, our pet chicken was missing.
The maid and the people at home let us search for the chicken in vain without saying a thing. It was not until we asked what happened to our pet chicken that the maid – master of her deceit, looked around the compound for a bit pretending to help search for it.
Then out of the blue, she came and asked us if we had found the gate open when we returned from school. And yes we’d found it open. Shaking her head she goes:
“Aayaaa!!! Sorry guys, it must have escaped. I think the guy that brought charcoal didn’t close the gate on his way out and as it was playing in the compound, it found the gate open and run out.”
Immediately we run and searched for it in the neighborhood but the pet chicken was nowhere to be seen. We eventually gave up and returned home to a sorrowful evening till dinner.
At dinner, the maid served chicken.
Seeing that I was a bit suspicious she explained how mum had bought us chicken to console us for losing our pet hen. Being kids, we weren’t sad anymore and we just enjoyed the chicken.
But now that I think of it; that was our pet chicken at the dinner table. It didn’t escape, we ate it.
And serving it under the claim that it was another hen was rather too soon and inconsiderate!
Why??????????? I even bet the charcoal guy had nothing to do with the open gate. The open gate must have been an alibi.
* curses *