Most people in the world are afraid of at least one thing or a person but then, our hero was not most people. He was no Batman or Superman; you’d be surprised at his physical résumé because it was no qualification for being a hero. You never know – heroes of these times come in different sizes. A youth, about the age of eighteen, lanky with no sneak peeks of teeming musculature; oblong face and a long neck which according to him was a sign of growth. In addition to a large number of followers, he also had a big mouth. In fact, his big mouth was the fishing rod he used to draw his fish in and the baits were his words.

This hero was quite the orator, boasting that he feared nothing. Many times, he had cleverly gotten himself out of troublesome situations that involved him proving his claims. Nevertheless, he managed to come up with a few tricks every now and then to convince the people that he was a hero.

Any story won’t be so interesting without our dear antagonist; this time, we have antagonists. In the same village where our dear hero lived, there also lived a gang of three mischievous young men. As if their mothers knew they would be joined together, they named them similarly. They were Ayo, Bayo and Dayo. This group of friends never ceased to trouble the villagers with their cunning actions.

One day, as our superhero was delivering his sugar coated words, the “Ayo” gang sat down like well mannered children, listening attentively to our hero’s supposed stories of bravery. The Yoruba people say “Ti ko ba ni idi, obinrin kii je Kumolu”. After listening like attentive followers, they quietly stood up and made their way to the lair. They laughed at the stupidity of the hero and laughed again because the hero thought everyone in the village was so dumb; he had forgotten that “cunny man die, cunny man bury am”. Then, their brains went into motion, thinking up different ways of exposing our hero shamefully. Eureka! The perfect recipe for mischief had just been brewed. Quickly, they went to gather the ingredients and waited for the right time to feed our hero his pot of nakedness.

It was night time and our hero was walking through the village like he owned it. He was in the company of five beautiful ladies who were like lovesick puppies helplessly consuming his tales. “Adigun, remind us of how you sent that ghost away again”, Folashade, one of the maidens, requested. As our hero was about to spill deceitful words once again, he was stopped short by the sight before him. It was a hideous masquerade with two followers, one at each side. The two followers were covered in black with red masks, and each held a whip in his hand. The five damsels in distress hid behind Adigun, with hopes that the hero would save them but to their greatest surprise, they felt the ground beneath their feet suddenly becoming wet. Rain was not falling so what was the source? Alas! It was urine trickling down the legs of our hero.

The ladies took to their heels, shouting for help since they realized that the hero had been nothing but a fraud. Meanwhile, our hero was already on his knees crying like a little baby, pleading for his dear life. Suddenly, laughter erupted from the masquerade and its followers who were the gang of three obviously. They told Adigun to close his eyes and start chanting “I don’t have action, I only have words”. Speedily, Adigun did what he was told and while our hero was engrossed in his chants, the three young men quietly made their way out of there.

At the end of the day, our hero was surrounded by the villagers who watched the confession. They all laughed at him – the boy who denied his fears. Adigun never opened his mouth to tell tales again for no one even gave him a listening ear.

Ti ko ba ni idi,obinrin kii je Kumolu – If there is no cogent reason, a woman doesn’t bear the name Kumolu.

Cunny – Cunning in Pidgin English


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