These Walls Have Ears

Ade, the 9 year old boy, sat right next to me under the mango tree as we watched the older boys play a semblance of football. An irritating yet satisfying smell of dust and sweat filled the air.
He pointed towards the road and said,
“There comes Jurujuru, the village madman. They say he has a wife and a son in the big city.”
Without missing a beat he continued…
“…and there’s Aunty Aduke, the village gossip. They say her womb would soon close shop, and no man is ready to pay her bride price.”
“There goes Ajani. They say the log in between his legs he doesn’t know how to use. A shame, if you ask me”
I stare at Ade, shocked. I ask, “How do you know all these things?”
He smirks while looking out into the field, his eyes far away from the leg kicking they were playing at on the field and says, “You adults never realise that walls have ears, our ears.”
Then he stands up to leave, dusting his ankara shorts. He turns to look at me and quietly says,
“Broda Ajala, Ajoke isn’t coming this night o. Her mother found out she did not do the red thing this month. You had better go home and enjoy the last bit of peace you’d enjoy under your roof for a very long time.”

JURUJURU: The Village Madman.
On our way from the stream yesterday, Jurujuru was under the iroko tree as we were passing by with our water pots on our heads. He was oddly calm, and he was mumbling to himself. He kept repeating,
“I’ll not die like this…”
“I’ll die a sane man.”
We stood rooted to the spot, watching our village madman speak of sanity. I thought maybe the gods had deemed it fit to give him back his sanity.
Ola whispered, “This must be a miracle.” and we all quietly mumbled our agreements.
Just then, Jurujuru regained his insanity. He picked up his infamous stick and chased us with so much ferocity, one I had never seen before.
Maybe the gods don’t really like miracles.


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