THE FALL- A Story By Omoboriowo Kareem
Odewole is the greatest hunter known in his time. His name and tales lived through many generations after. His hut is one of the biggest in the village and his cocoa plantation is the largest that was ever seen. He had dozens of servants and twenty-one wives, most of which were given to him as a gift. He was believed to be a god living in human flesh. There are mouths that speak of him to be someone who have conquered death, and that his legs will forever walk the surface of the earth.
Many knows him as akakulapako (someone who bends the hands of death), because he has returned from the journeys no man has ever returned from, and places where no one have dared to visit. He has sauntered through the darkest of nights, conquered beast and evil beings. He knows the night by it names, and also the evils that lurk within it. He has brought home the heads of countless lions and ornamented his compound with about a dozen tusks of elephants. He is the fear that whispers into the heart of even the most ferocious animals. It is believed that he is the one the sky praises when the thunder rumbles. Not only did he have authority over the animals in the jungle but also familiar with all of the herbs that grew and their use. His wisdom is almost of no match. His grandeur spread within and beyond the land.
On a hunting day, a day which is always before any market day, Odewole walked into the forest in search of meat. The earth was wet due to the heavy rain that fell overnight and it made the whole forest clear and cold. The smell of the forest green was strong, the forest was also quiet except from the sounds of the chirping birds and the cracking of the wet twigs beneath every step he took.
He walked freely without the fear of the things other men fear. It wasn’t long when he spotted an antelope. He picked an arrow from the quiver that he carried on his back. Quickly, he set the arrowhead against the plate and pulled the bowstring back to his chest. He released it and the arrow set for its destination. It was a clean hit; the antelope collapsed without a struggle. He lifted the animal and carried it on his shoulder. He decided to go back home and end hunting for the day. He had more than enough meat for consumption and sales. On his way home, he stepped on a peel of banana and slipped. He struggled to find balance but unfortunately, he hit his head on a rock and died instantly.
He was found by other hunters of the village who came across his lifeless body. He was carried into the village in the night and buried immediately. His death was announced at first cockcrow but the cause of his death was kept secret from the people so as to protect his name and glory. But still, his death came as a shock to the villagers and it took long for some people to believe he was truly dead. Maybe the people of Oremolu village have forgotten that life has promised no one eternal living, and that wealth has promised nobody everlasting companionship. They have forgotten that death is for us all. Maybe the death of Odewole is to remind them that they are not born to live forever: that we all live to leave, not stay.