THE WOUNDED HUNTERS Episode 1 - Abiodun Lambaba Blog

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Saturday, 11 August 2018

THE WOUNDED HUNTERS Episode 1








Amantu village was located on the outskirt of Erelu forest which was a source of resources for almost all occupations in the village.
The king’s palace was situated in the middle of the village with the market place only some metres away. The market was known as Ovia market. The market was always full and lousy every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The people of Amantu village were into farming, hunting, fishing, carpentry, trading and the likes. Farming was the main occupation since there were no other white collar jobs that fetched more income as farming.
There was a river called Aniye river. It was the main source of water, food and income especially for the fisherman.
They had a public school called Amantu Grammar School where children went to learn the basics of formal education.

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It was the last day of the session. The students just got their results and were gathered in small groups. Some had happy faces while some people’s facial expression described their poor performances according to the report card.
“I came first again”, Obi yelled at the top of his voice, drawing everyone’s attention to his direction.
He then ran to meet Chika his best friend who sat quietly under the Almond tree.
“You came first again like always” Chika said unhappily.
“What’s wrong again?” Obi inquired
“I came fifteenth and my parents won’t be impressed with me because Ada always come home with nice results”. Chika complained.
“Next term will be different” Obi said tapping his back.
“Hopefully” Chika answered with little enthusiasm.
“At least, we’ll have enough time for hunting throughout this long holiday” Obi said.
Chika grabbed his bag and they started heading home.

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Obi was seventeen years old and the only child of his parents. They lived in an old bungalow. Obi’s parents; Papa and Mama Ezenwa had been expecting another child since Obi’s birth but it was all to no avail.
This made Obi to be a little bit pampered by his parents. He was intelligent and no one had ever beaten him to the first position since he started attending Amantu Grammar School.
Obi’s best friend, Chika lived not very far away from Obi’s place. He was also seventeen years of age while his sister, Ada was fifteen years old. They also lived with their parents in a small bungalow. They were told that they had an elder brother who left for the big city before Chika was born. They didn’t really believe the story since they haven’t seen him before.
Chika never really liked school, hence, the reason he never came above fifteenth place. Meanwhile, Ada was a book worm who would do everything possible to be in school. She was quite brilliant and intelligent.
Chika and Obi were really close. They did almost everything together. People always called them brothers. They were practically inseparable. They also had close friends who were also in their group.
Ifeanyi was nineteen but wasn’t schooling because he preferred to work with his father in his farm so as to acquire the necessary skills needed as a farmer.
Nkechi was Obi and Chika’s classmate. She was Obi’s rival in class but always ended up in second place. This rivalry made them close friends.
Anayo on the other side was Ada’s age and classmate. He was very fond of her and often joked that he would marry her when they grew up.
They were all a group of young hunters who went hunting at least thrice on every holiday.
Ifeanyi was the brain behind their hunting achievements. He was the toughest, strongest and bravest of them all. He instructed others on how to set traps in strategic places in the forest. Obi and Chika joined him in setting of the bigger and difficult traps.
The ladies, Nkechi and Ada were the ones collecting the carcasses of the animals killed. They also joined Anayo in setting of the smaller and easier traps.
They were a very strong team of young hunters who intimidated others whenever they took their catch home or the market for sale.
The children shared then smaller catch among themselves but took the bigger ones to the market. Nkechi and Ada were the ones responsible for the sales and the sharing of money among themselves according to their ages.
They were all popular in the village. People referred to them as the Dare Devils.
The only problem which remained for the Dare Devils to gain the maximum respect was by killing an antelope. They have never killed an antelope before. This hereby made them anticipate the killing of an antelope one way or the other.
Sule, the carpenter stayed in his hut some yards away from the entrance of Erelu forest. He stayed with no one but his tools. He built his hut close to the forest for easier access to wood for his works. He’s in his late forties but had enough grey hair like that of an eighty year old man.
The children always kept most of their traps and tools in Sule’s workshop each time they were through with an adventure.
Sule was good with the traps but doesn’t follow the children on hunting. He only taught them the applications of each traps.
He also made sure that he warned them about the dangers lurking around the deeper parts of the forest. Rumours had it that that there were many strange and dangerous kinds of animals which would be difficult for the children to kill if they encountered any of the animals.
Meanwhile, antelopes were hardly seen at the areas where the Dare Devils operated. This was one of the reasons why they had never caught an antelope.

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Chika was afraid of entering the house because of his poor performances in his exams.
“Don’t worry, he won’t kill you”, Obi said.
“He’s going to do just that”, Chika replied.
“At least, you won’t die” Obi said.
“I’m already dead right now”, Chika answered.
“Don’t just forget the hunting of tomorrow because it promises to be filled with a lot of surprises”. Obi said smiling.
“Surprises like antelopes,”? Chika asked.
“We are not coming back home tomorrow without an antelope”, Obi said.
“You must be joking, it seems you’ve forgotten about the rumours”, Chika answered.
“Forget rumours please”, Obi said
Tapping his back, “calm down Obi, let’s be patient”, Chika said.
“Let’s watch and see”, Obi said as he turned away from Chika.
******

TO BE CONTINUED


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