I have only killed one snake in my life, it was small but long, lurked by the edge of the house wall, I had no choice but to step up to the challenge as my Mum and younger siblings watched me kill the snake with an Umbrella, it was a happy moment for me, I had a great feeling that I defeated what I was most scared about.

But that is not the snake I intend to write about;

I was just a little boy in Primary 5, one day, during one of our classes, we heard shouts from our classmates at the other class, so we ran out to see what was happening, I jumped into that other class through the window, I guess the window was not high, behold there was a snake at the backyard, painful enough, I didn’t see the snake, our class backyard had scanty maize plants in it.

I didn’t realize the damage my acrobatic jump through the window had caused, until the dust settled and everywhere became calm again, I had returned to my class only to hear my name some minutes later, “Esan, the class teacher is calling you”.

In school, many called me by my surname “Esan”, I was one of the most stubborn boys in school, I was not meant to be because my parents were real disciplinarians, but I was not a bad boy, I was good enough to be made a class head and a health prefect boy, I was a favourite to many teachers who loved my beautiful handwriting.

So the class teacher said, “you’ve broken the wash-hand basin, bring your parents to school tomorrow and the money to buy a new one”. I became sober and heartbroken; I’ve just been giving the most difficult task of my life.

I dare not inform my Dad that his attention was needed in school, what will my reason be? That I won an award? Telling him would just be like adding salt to injury. I also decided not to inform my Mum.

For a few days, the backyard snake that I eventually did not see caused me serious troubles, I tried as much as I could to always dodge the teacher, whenever I fail to do that, I take some lashes or serve punishment with a reminder of what I’m supposed to do.

Heaven smiled on me one day, my Mum noticed my reluctance to go to school, I opened up, and then we went to school with a new basin. I became free again.


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