a picture showing moyo okediji with a big smile on his face



My father told me the story of three thieves. He was a fiction writer, so I never knew if it was something he made up, or read up.

But let me tell you the tale if you got one minute:

Three thieves received info that a miner kept a large bundle of gold in his house. They decided they should go and relieve the guy of his treasure. “After all,” argued one thief, “he dug up this stone from the ground that God gave all of us.”

So, come dusk, they dressed in black and stole to the miner’s house.

The miner was waiting for them. He was certain that some robber must smell that he had gold in his house. “It’s like keeping irú in the house,” the miner told his son. “The fly would know and try to check it out. We have to be ready. Go and sharpen the machetes”

You ajẹbọ́tà guys probably don’t know what they call the “firelight” or “fayaláìtì” to pronounce it in Africana.

In the 40s to the 70s, they had this decorative glass pane, usually divided into three panels, above the wooden doors at the entrances and exits of buildings in southwest Nigeria.

It’s actually a stupid idea because the fayaláìtì makes the house vulnerable. But it also allows some light into the house when it is sunny outside, which, in Nigeria, is 367 days a year.

Anyway, the would-be burglars got to the front of the miner’s house and decided to break in through the fayaláìtì.

The first robber climbed over the back of the second robber, while the third kept watch. The first robber was able to reach the fayaláìtì easily. He stretched out his hand and deftly pulled it open. He had plenty of practice with such contraptions.

No sooner was his hand inside the house through the fayaláìtì than the miner’s son brought the sharpened machete down on the robber’s arm.

The first robber, on receiving this deadly cut, flinched but smiled to the other two and said, “Yes! It is solid gold. Get me down, and you’ll see what I mean. Let me back you up.”

The second robber eagerly climbed the back of the first robber, lifted the fayaláìtì, and fàì, the machete landed on his outstretched hand. He grunted. “Ha! I see what you mean now. It is a HUGE bundle. Actually, there might be diamonds there too. Felt sharp.”

The third robber could not contain his excitement. His eyes popping, he said, “Lemme up, please; lemme to go get it!!!”

He climbed the back of the first robber, lifted up the fayaláìtì, and hastily dug his hand through.

Fàì! The machete landed with furious delivery on his arm.

The third robber screamed, “Orí ìyá mi ò! Mo kú o!”

“Hush,” said the first robber, showing the third robber his bleeding arm. “Ilé yá. You are not the only one.”

Yesterday, I got my shot of the Covid 19 vaccine.

It was very sweet.

Go and get yours.

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