Outstanding Story (Sub-junior) - One Good Day
“One Good Day” is one of the outstanding stories (sub-junior) of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2019 written by Awwal Ekundayo, St Mary's International Schools, Ilorin, Nigeria.
One Good Day
My mother went to the market to buy goat meat for my birthday. This is what she told me happened when she got there. My mother was late to buy the meat. She was so busy buying everything else for my birthday party by the time she got there, this man was the only one who had any meat left. When my mother came towards him, she was in such a hurry she did not notice that he was angry. She greeted him.
“Good afternoon sir.”
“How much for this meat please?”
“What? That is so expensive! I will pay one third of that amount.”
The meat seller exploded in anger and must have called my mother names in his language or so my mother thought.
“If you do not want to buy the meat please leave!”
My mother was surprised.
“Ah Maigida, what did I do? Are we not in the market? Please sell this meat for _______ naira.”
The meat seller jumped up and brandished a knife, the one he used to cut meat with.
“If you do not leave this place I will….”
My mother knew she would not get good meat anywhere else by this time. She too was tired and upset from having had such a busy day and because she still had so much to do, she would not let it go. She had to get that goat meat for my birthday party. Goat meat is my favorite and she wanted to give me a surprise treat. She answered-
“---you will what? Is this how you sell in the market? Am I not your customer?”
“Was it not a customer like you who came here and stole my money?”
Now my mother understood his anger. The poor man had been robbed.
“So is that why you want to chase away all your other customers? Be sensible. You cannot make up the money you lost by making the rest of your meat too expensive. In fact, because you have treated me so badly, you are going to give me this meat for free.”
The angry meat seller was as surprised as my mother by what she had just said. He seemed to stop breathing for a moment and then laughed out loud.
“Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!”
My mother was serious and did not find it funny.
“What is so funny? Pack this meat, my friend, let me go. I need to get my son’s birthday party ready before he comes home.”
The meat seller’s ears pecked up when he heard that.
“It is your son’s birthday? What is his name?”
My mother said, she was hesitant at first but she told him. Then the meat seller said-
“I will give you this meat for free on one condition. You must promise to bring your son to the market to see me before the end of the week.”
My mother thought about it for a minute. She was the one who had asked for the meat for free. It would be interesting to know what would happen next.
We had a lovely birthday party. The meat was delicious. Two days later, my mother told me the story and said I was to follow her to the market the next day. I told her that I did not want to go but she said a promise is a promise even if it was to a meat seller. I did not sleep that night. I was afraid. My mother was going to exchange me for the goat meat! The next day was Saturday. My mother took me to the market in the morning. I hid behind her when she stopped in front of the meat seller.
“Maigida, I have brought the boy who ate your goat meat!”
She shoved me in front of the meat seller. He reached into his garment and brought out a small red-orange stone. My mother gasped.
“An Aqiq! A stone for protection and blessing! We cannot take that.”
The meat seller smiled and called my name.
“Awwal. Your mother was the first and only person that day who did not give me anger for anger. She deserves more than the free meat I gave her so I give you this stone. May it remind you to be brave just like your mother.”
I looked to my mother. She smiled and nodded her head.
I accepted the meat seller’s gift. It is the best birthday present my mother has given me.
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