Cocks crowed, it was the dawn of anew day. Carrying a bag of corn seeds I dragged my tired body to feed the chickens. I took in the cold wind of the morning not looking forward to the heavy farm work that lay ahead for me. “Tarra”, my mother called. I knew there was trouble again. Why was I born first? It was always Tarra! Who did this? What happened to that? I hoped nobody would get thrashed this time. My mother always bore the brunt of papa’s stormy temper that was often triggered by any opportunity to show that he was the man of the house, ruler of his kingdom.
I came running to stop the storm from blowing us all away, it turned out one of our pigs was missing. My heart started to race. In a voice that was shaky I said, “Papa maybe someone might have stolen it”. Only a brave and strong person would dare to do that in my village. I watched my father’s face change from anger to puzzlement, then to a dawning understanding. A smile crossed his face, and he said, “the culprit will show up soon”. We all knew that meant the thief would come revealing himself and with that declaration, name the girl in the family whom he intended to marry. At 17, I was old enough. Who could this man be? I hoped that it would be one of the good men in the village.
A few days later he came, in the company of two men to ask for my hand in marriage. He was Manya, a prominent hunter in the village. My father, raised his shoulders up like a proud peacock and received the suitor who as custom demands could only prove he was worthy of the girl he wished to marry by stealing a pig.
Excerpt from my short story