ON THE LIONESS TAIL.
By AMAH’S HEART.
Bambi smiled after taking another scoop.
“… you haven’t even touched your food, is very nice, try it. What is eating you up, you are the most admired person in the kingdom, becoming a first woman chief of Zukumo kingdom and also the latest royal bride is something every lady will kill for. Dhaki loves you but I have my reservation on men with sugar coated tongue. Dhaki is one on such list but he appears nice and cheerful. The most important part is that he obviously loves you and you love him too right??… My child, what is eating at you?
She shifted uncomfortable on her sit before dropping the plate of untouched porridge on the table.
“Everything grandma. I wish I have answer to all the questions ringing on my head but sadly i don’t. This whole marriage thing excites father and he wants me to get married right away and start planning on her to become the next Chief. Mother too is very happy, They can’t wait to see me get married but something seems to be missing out in this whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dhaki…he is a great and intelligent man. I have asked and prayed to the gods concerning it but they seem silent. The only thing I saw two nights now in my dream was a riddle “patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast”. The word rang like twice before I awaken and up till now I still can’t fathom what it means. Aside that, I checked on the sick villagers yesterday and they are at the verge of death. I won’t be surprised if the death announcement comes up today or tomorrow. Grandma I have failed them. I feel like a total failure. Lord Mario is looking for what to hang on to and this will definitely be it for him. That is why this whole marriage thing doesn’t excite me one bit as it excites others…
Bambira drop her own plate too before facing Kaya.
“When you were born, your father thought you were a boy and named you Pasim Kuvi, his great grand father name who’s reign was outstanding and unmeasurable when he was alive. Your mother decided to name you after me… Bambi Kaya which I feel so honored to see that you are have turned out to be far more than I have ever been. Watching you do extraordinary thing as you grow makes me wonder how special the gods has favored your father through you. His quest for a male child made him end up with Zain. Opa, your mother is a good woman and truly enough for your father but he was too blind to see it and brought in that unruly ill mannered woman. I never liked her and after this last evil she committed I’m not sure I will ever acknowledge her. Now, my whole point is the gods has appointed you as a ruler, Mario and his cohorts can’t do anything even if they try. He’s not deserving of a chieftain, he’s not even worthy for such title. The gods probably would have considered him if he was humble but he’s quest for power and rulership had harden him and he continued to soil his hands because of it. The ways of the gods is different from ours. My child, if you are having double mind about the marriage or you aren’t sure of prince Dhaki speak to the gods about it. Is not late to have a change of mind… all that should matter is the gods approval and your happiness…
Kaya sighed heavily.
“Grandma Bambi, that is exactly what I’m trying to say, the gods are silent. The only thing they did was to give me a riddle to solve “patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast” I’m trying to figure out what it means but I can’t seem to get the logic grandma. You know Why all of this annoys me greatly is because the gods reveals a whole lot to me concerning other people. They speak to me in dreams and anytime they want to communicate with me even during the day, they also use signs, whisper like the wind to communicate to me concerning anything and everything cycling around me but now, now that is all about me they seem silent. They left me with a riddle that I still can’t solve. Grandma I feel so stuck and helpless…
“My child , don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be sad. If the gods gave you a riddle also plead to them for the answer. One way or the other the answer will be revealed, they are probably talking about Zukumo. Patch the heart of the man who’s finger is eaten by the beast… maybe the beast is that heartless Mario and the heart is Zukumo kingdom, it really needs patching. I don’t know my Child, I’m only trying to use my own description and idea. But I will also beseech the gods on your behalf…
Yuri saw a man coming and waved towards him to come forward and he did.
“Good day , I guess you are stranger around here. Do you need something or place to stay. My name is Uzan, you can stay at my house and if you need a woman for the night, that can also be arranged. In Zukumo we treat our visitors well and make the kingdom comfortable for them. Chief Dre our current chief and chiefs before him commanded it so and it has become a law. What should I call you my lord…
Yuri try to smile but he wasn’t really in the mood.
“Thank you Uzan, my name is Yuri. I have a message I will like you to deliver for me. Her name is Lady Kaya and she is…
“I know princess Kaya my Lord. Everybody in this kingdom and even beyond knows Kaya. I have a scar on my back she gave it to me please don’t ask me how! That Lady is fierce and unbending. She is about to be married and as you can see the villagers are preparing towards that. She is getting married to prince Dhaki, the son of chief Binu from Ogunzi kingdom. I will be honored to deliver your message lord Yuri or take you to the palace where she lives with her family. What is it that you will like me to do…
Yuri gave Uzan the bag containing the tekah.
“Kindly deliver this to her. I will be returning back to my kingdom, please send my greetings and good wishes to her as well concerning her…Mar… marriage to the prince of Ogunzi kingdom. Please, don’t stop anywhere, don’t open the bag or speak to anyone until this bag is delivered, take this straight to her is very urgent and may the gods bless you for doing me this great favor.
Uzan promised to do as he was asked.
Yuri watched him leave with the bag containing the tekah leaves.
A woman walked pass and greeted him.
He responded absent minded.
Yuri later turned and speed off on his horse.
Uzan was going when he heard somebody calling his name.
He turned and saw lady Tira rushing up behind him.
She was almost out of breath by the time she reached Uzan.
“You walk like an antelopes. I have been trying to catch up with you. I saw that strange man hand a bag to you. Who is he and what’s in the bag?
“He’s name is Yuri, marely looking at him is obvious that he is a warrior and maybe returning from a war. He gave me this bag to deliver to princess Kaya. I don’t know what’s inside the bag. Is probably a wedding gifts or some bounty that he recovered from the war. He asked me to go straight to the house. That is what I’m doing.
Tira wanted to see what’s inside but Uzan refused after telling her the warning Yuri gave him.
Tira thought of a way to convince Uzan so that he will open the bag.
“Let me just take a peep, I won’t tell anyone. Kaya doesn’t deserve this kindness you are about to render to her. Have you forgotten what she did to you, you told everyone that cares to know that she beat you with a stick, injuring some part of your body. She is heartless. My son will still become chief because a woman can never rule Zukumo. My husband is still planning a way to do that. What if is a weapon or some charm that you are delivering which is the only reason the stranger warned you not to open it…
Tira continued talking until Uzan decided that they should only take a peep.
Immediately they opened the bag, They saw many leaves inside.
Tira wanted to put her hand inside but Uzan covered the bag
Uzan began to laugh.
“I thought is some gold or jewelries that I carry. Is just a common leave. What will Kaya use a leaf for. Maybe is some special vegetable or medicine… whatever it is, I don’t care is none of my business. I don’t want Kaya’s trouble or the stranger. He already knows my name, if he finds out that this wasn’t delivered I will be in trouble. The beating Kaya gave me is small compared to what I may receive. Lady Tira I have to run ahead…
Tira wondered if that was the almighty tekah leaves that cures all manner of things.
She begged Uzan for just two or three leave, so that she can ask her husband what the leaf means.
Tira told Uzan she will pay him greatly if the leaf turned out to be what she was thinking.
She tried all kinds of techniques just for Uzan to give her some and promised not to tell anyone.
Finally Uzan allowed her to take.
She took three out. Uzan asked her to return one but she refused.
Instead of wasting further time Uzan left her and went straight to deliver the package to Kaya.
Tira rushed home to show lord Mario the leaf she got hoping it will turned out to be what she was thinking.
After Uzan delivered the bag of tekah he left to avoid being probed by Kaya.
He still felt guilty for allowing Tira to convince him into giving her the leaf
Immediately Kaya learnt that the bag was from Yuri she quickly opened it and screamed out her surprise when she saw the tekah.
Uzan told her that Yuri returned back to his kingdom after giving him the bag to deliver.
It worries Kaya, she wish she has seen him. She thought of going after him but knew she won’t be able to catch up.
She was one of the happiest person in Zukumo, having the answer to the very thing that have greatly troubled her soul.
She began thanking the gods for their kindness and for sparing Yuri’s life from the blood tasty beast that is guiding the tekah tree in the cave.
Yuri took the greatest risk of all for her by getting the tekah.
Such kindness was too much, it overwhelmed every fiber of her being.
Kaya jumped on her horse with the tekah and went straight to each villager who were sick.
She healed them all with the tekah and kept the remaining one for future use.
The news of the healing began flying out.
The following day
Kaya informed her parents that she needed to rush down to see Maya. She quickly briefed them how the gods has cleared her worries and favored the land once more through Yuri, the same warrior that saved her when she was attacked in the deep wood.
Chief Dre wanted to also thank the warrior but Kaya told them that she couldn’t even see him.
He has gone back to Fiji kingdom where he came from.
They were still talking when Dhaki arrived.
He wanted to know how far the wedding plans was going and to spend time with his bride to be and the next woman chief of Zukumo kingdom.
But Kaya was not in the mood for poet or love songs.
She told Dhaki she was leaving to a distance land.
Prince Dhaki wanted to follow her but she told him it will slow her down.
She needed to rush and return on time.
Kaya left immediately to see Maya while prince Dhaki stayed behind with Chief Dre.
His soon to be father-in-law.
Maya was with Maran who has become a great help to her when Kaya arrived.
Kaya used a drop of the tekah for Maya’s first son and he became well.
She didn’t have much time to spend, she entered the road again straight to Fiji kingdom.
It was already late when she arrived at Fiji kingdom.
She began to ask every person she met about a warrior called Yuri after introducing herself to them.
Some of the villagers that has heard of her name and deed couldn’t help but spreed the news of her presence.
Even the Chief of Fiji kingdom heard of it and was ready to give her a befiting welcome.
Kaya was more after to see Yuri.
“Patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast.
The riddle came rushing back again to her mind as she was led to Yuri’s house.
Yuri had sixteen male servants and nine female servants. These were the people he captured in war. The whole villagers respects him, he was one of the strongest man in Fiji but never around.
He was hardly seen because Yuri was either sent out for war, peace keeping or he is enjoying the tranquility of the forest alone.
Many women in Fiji prayed to the gods to make him pick interest in them.
He was a good and respectable man.
He dines with the chiefs and great elders of the land
Yuri do not have time for women until he met Kaya.
He was being attended to by one of his female servants, who was washing his feet in a bowl of warm water to help Yuri ease his tensed and broken heart.
His head was relaxed back, his eyes shut as he kept thinking of Kaya.
A servant led Kaya to where he was.
Kaya’s heart skipped a little when he saw the way the beautiful lady was massaging his feet in the water.
Yuri was still, he appears to be sleeping.
Kaya thought probably that could be his wife or somebody who is in love with him.
Another servant was holding a jar of red wine.
His cup was filled and untouched.
The male servant that led Kaya to his relaxation spot clap twice to signify an important presence
He went over to whisper something to Yuri’s ear who didn’t bother standing
“Master, a young lady is here to see you. She is from Zukumo kingdom according to her. Her name is….
Before the servant could complete the name, Yuri got up in a hurry as the name “Kaya” left his mouth.
He sat up and saw her standing few feet away.
He blinked his eyes continuesly to make sure he wasn’t hallucinating.
Yuri stood and dismissed his servants.
The beautiful one that was massaging his leg, looked Kaya over before asking.
“My master, should I bring food and drinks for your visitors.
” Yes Leni, please do that.
Yuri replied without looking at her, his eyes was focused on Kaya.
Kaya looked at the one he called Leni, she was indeed beautiful and felt there is more to her and Yuri.
Kaya noticed the way Yuri’s palm was wrapped up with a thick cloth as he came to stand in front of her without a word.
His heart was racing as he stare at Kaya. She was looking so relaxed, more beautiful than he has ever seen.
Maybe getting married to the prince of Ogunzi did lots of good for her.
She was probably here to thank him for the tekah.
Kaya watched his bare chest and his racing heart beat.
He has scars and fresh wound which was neatly cleaned up.
Kaya found her voice and greeted him which he responded while still looking at her
“Your hand… what happened?
Yuri looked down at his palm before returning his look to Kaya.
He smiled as he responded.
“The lioness had one of my finger for lunch before I could retrieve the tekah. please, pardon me. Come and have a sit. I believed you received the tekah I sent which explains why you came… I also learnt that you are getting married and…I…i
Yuri couldn’t speak further.
Leni brought in a tray of meat and fruits. Another servant came in with wine and dates and dropped it on the table in front of Kaya.
Leni looked at Yuri with a smile, he wasn’t paying attention to her, he was too focused on Kaya.
She frowned before walking away.
The only thing Kaya was staring at was his hand as the riddle came ringing in her ears again.
“Patch the heart of the man who’s finger was eaten by the beast”…