I just discovered poems and short stories on Guernica – here is one from Chinua Achebe which he adapted from Chike and the River. Like many of Achebe’s stories it has the usual assortment of Igbo proverbs. This one ends with the saying….
A man who can walk through the Nkisa with his bare feet should not be afraid to sail the Niger in a boat.
So I came up with my own equivalent after imagining myself walking through the forest.
“A woman who walks through the yam field at night should not fear the tall grass in the day “
Those who answered to Abraham
After the incident of the leopard skin Chike lost some of his eagerness for crossing the Niger. He did not see how he could obtain one shilling without stealing or begging. His only hope now was that some kind benefactor might give him a present of one shilling without his begging for it. But where was such a man, he wondered. Perhaps the best thing was to take his mind off the River Niger altogether; but it was not easy.
On the last day of term, all the pupils were tidying up the school premises. The boys cut the grass in the playing fields and the girls washed the classrooms. Chike’s class was working near the mango tree with all the tempting ripe fruit which they were forbidden to pick. They sang an old prisoners’ work song and swung their blades to its beat. The last day of term was always a happy, carefree day; but it was also a day of anxiety because the results of the term’s examination would be announced. Still an examination was an examination and nobody liked to fail….The story continues