OBIKA,adapted from arrow of GOD

obika was one of the handsomest young men in umuaro and all the surrounding districts. His face was very finely cut. His skin was like his father's, the colour of a golden pumpkin. People said of him (as they always did when they saw great comeliness) that he was not born for these parts among the igbo people of the forests; that in his previous life he must have sojounred among the riverain fold whom the igbo called Olu.
    but two things spoilt obika. He drank palm wine to excess and he was always inflicting injury on others. His father, who preffered him to edogo, his quiet and brooding half-brother, neverthless said to him often: "it is praiseworthy to be brave and fearless, my son, but sometimes it is better to be a coward. We often stand in the compound of a coward to point at the ruins where a brave man used to live. The man who has never submitted to anything will soon submit to the burial mat."
     not very long ago obika had cime very close indeed to committing murder, his half sister, akueke, often came home to say that her husband had beaten her, one early morning she came home again with her face all swollen. Without waiting to hear the rest of the story, obika set out for the village of his brother-in-law. No one knew where obika had gone until he returned later beore noon with his friend ofoedu. On their heads was akueke's husband tied to a bed, almost dead. They set him down under the ukwa tree and dared anyone to move him. The women and the neighbours pleaded with obika and showed him the ripe fruit on the tree which were as big as waterpots.
     "yes, i put him there on purpose, to be crushed by the fruit-the beast".
(adapted from arrow of God, by late chinua achebe).


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