Little Yewande sat diagonally opposite the tree in her father’s family compound in Ile Oluji, steering at the full moon like the eyewink duel of children. The moon, that night, was full and had illuminated Ile Oluji. The birds of the night had gone to bed and the fowls of the night had gone to rest. The crickets and grasshoppers, Yewande’s playmate, were still much awake. The full moon was just a perfect time to listen to a tale from mama, but remembering what happened last night, tears of pain bragged out of her eyes, threatening to hurt her if she thought further. The night before, Baba Yewande had fought mama. He almost punched her to death. Were it not for Baba Lanke and the village drunkard who were awake during the incidence, mama Yewande would have been with her ancestors, absolutely!
Too bad for Yewande that night. No story to hear. No company to keep. To Yewande, that night was the most bored; for mama was too ill to tell stories. In fact, she was still reporting to Baba ‘Peju’s shrine for treatment.
“The moon is just full for nothing.” Yewande spoke to herself, with tears sagging down her cheeks from a broken heart. Yes, mama was sick, but that wasn’t really Yewande’s concern. What bothered her the most was the full-for-nothing moon and the moonlight tale she missed that night. As she stood to go inside in fate, the sound of mama Dedewe’s mortar came ragging. Mama Dedewe lived three houses away from Yewande’s family, but virtually every night, almost all the villagers are troubled by the rhythm of her mortar; for she was known for her late cooking and virtually everyone breathing the air of Ile Oluji, had mastered the art of Mama Dedewe’s pestle. Her husband was always coming home late after throwing his muscles in the farm and was always demanding pounded yam.
Yewande stood a bit, at least to enjoy the rhythm emanating from mama Dedewe’s mortar before going to bed and said to herself; “I cannot loose mama’s tale and loose mama Dedewe’s rhythm. Not even tonight.” Severally, she shrugged her shoulders to the left, right, up and down. Little Yewande enjoyed it further: she began tapping her feet and nodding her head, but it never occurred to her that mama Dedewe’s rhythm was becoming queer. The rhythm went on and Yewande danced profusely. All of a sudden, she began removing her clothes. To start with, she loosened the wrapper that covered her dried flat chest and covering her forbidden zone, was a silk pant. She danced in pant for about thirty minutes to the rhythm she alone was now hearing. Meanwhile, mama was awakened by the roughening noises she was hearing and came outside to ascertain what was happening. So, mama Yewande bent low to exit the family hut, but too her shock, she saw Yewande dancing naked. Thinking Yewande was mad, she fainted…
What would Yewande do to the fainted mama? Would anyone help her that night? Did Yewande herself run mad? What was behind the queer rhythm of mama Dedewe’s mortar?
Find out in Episode 2.