THE ELEPHANT WOMAN
One day, I had just come back from hunting when I was told the police were at my home looking for me. My wife, Iris was scared. Very scared. I wondered why the police were looking for me. However, I suspected it had to do with my hunting business. I quickly freshened up and went to the village center to see if I could meet any of them. I didn’t. The village had no police post. They had come from the neighbouring town to look for me.
The next day, I went to the nearest town for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to get some bullets for my gun. Secondly, I wanted to see the corrupt police commissioner who had supplied me with the gun. I wanted to ask him why his boys were after me. Iris wasn’t happy about me leaving. She begged me to stay but I had to go. It was really important.
Four hours later, I was at the police station, talking with the commissioner.
“You have to be careful.” The commissioner said. “Your village people were here to report that you have been involved in the illegal sale of ivory.”
“I know, officer.” I responded. “You know this is my source of livelihood. You have to protect me. You know how it is between us. Your share is always ready and available.”
“I understand. However, you still need to be extra careful. If it gets too bad, I might not be able to protect you. Your village people are jealous of you. I am sure it’s because of that beautiful wife of yours.” The commissioner warned.
“Thank you, boss. I will be extra careful.” I said.
A while later, I left the police station and headed to the market where I was able to meet an illegal bullet dealer. I bought my bullets from him and headed back to the village. When I got back to the village, I gave the whole thing a good thought. I replayed everything the commissioner had said to me in my head. I was asking myself why people would be so selfish and wicked as to want to set me up. I thought of abandoning the elephant hunting business. However, I decided that was out of the question.
The magic to hunt elephants was given to my grandfather by a white man. Yes, you won’t believe it, but it is true. Never underestimate the white man. That was during the colonial days. My grandfather was a friend with this white man and the white man taught him a lot about black magic, including how to hunt elephants safely. When the white man was about to leave Africa, he warned him to discard the magic and make sure he didn’t pass it to his sons. My grandpa didn’t adhere to his warnings. There were rumours in the village that even when the white man had gone back to his country, he still appeared to my grandpa secretly.
Now, it was thanks to the hunting business that I was able to secure my wife, my beautiful wife, Iris. So, how could I possibly abandon the trade now. My children were growing big and I had no other source of livelihood to take care of them. I was very worried. Nevertheless, it is said that once a man starts raising his family, he doesn’t think of himself alone when he is making a decision. He has to think of his family too. This is because whatever decision he makes, directly affects his family. For the sake of my wife and children, I decided that I would stop elephant hunting. However, I decided that I would make one last trip into the bush and that would be the last.
The next day, I headed to the forest. I trekked the whole day but could not find a single elephant to shoot. I couldn’t even see any other animal. It was such a bad day for me. Towards evening, I decided to go home and call it a day. I was about to go home when a thought came to me. I thought to myself. Why don’t I go and hunt in the national park? Of course, it is a protected reserve which was guarded by the law and patrolled by armed guards. However, the guards would have been gone back to their station since it’s already getting to evening. I could sneak in, shoot a few elephants, collect their tusks and go back to the village unnoticed. I decided I would take the risk.
I got into the national park and was immediately confronted by almost thirty elephants. The elephants, which were not used to being hunted because they were in the national park, smelled danger and charged at me. I immediately activated my magic and disappeared. I became invisible to them and in my invisible state, I opened fire and shot fifteen of them. They dropped dead and the rest escaped. I quickly got to work. I unsheathed my well sharpened machete and started the gruesome work of harvesting their tusks. Fifteen elephants meant thirty tusks. That would bring enough money to start another line of business and abandon this risky trade.
It was almost dark when I finished harvesting the tusks. I put them in a large bag and took them to my bush hut. I would have loved to go home immediately. However, the bag was too heavy that was why I had to drop some of the tusks at my bush hut and take just a little home that evening. I got home in one piece and told Iris about how adventurous my day was. She was really worried about me and was very thankful to God when I told her I had quit hunting.
We slept safely that night. Little did we know that, that was our last peaceful night in a very long time. Early next morning, around 5:00 AM, I heard a loud bang on my door. At first, I thought it was a dream, but the knocking persisted. I went to open the door and froze immediately. It was a policeman. I quickly shut the door in his face and ran back inside. I was just in my undershorts, but there was no time to dress up. I ran to the back door, hoping to make a quick escape. But as soon as I opened the back door, I discovered that my house had been surrounded by almost twenty policemen.
TO BE CONTINUED…