Unlike many of the children in my area, I realized that I was closer to my mother than to my father. You see, he wasn’t always around; he was always ‘away on business’. My family wasn’t like every other family, my father made it a habit to marry many wives, he was so endowed that he just kept ‘fathering’ children. At a point it was almost impossible to keep count of his wives and children, this was entirely because of his unrestricted escapades. I was taught that if we must live, first we die .

 

It was very hard for me to understand why anybody in his right senses would live like that but then I was just a kid, a kid who had more siblings than he would count, a kid who had to wait in line for weeks to be able to hug his father good night. It was hard but like every other thing in life, I learnt to deal with it.

My siblings and I had such striking resemblance that passersby could tell immediate who our father was. Sometimes it was very embarrassing, other times it made us feel like an army rather than just a family. Most of the time they didn’t bother to ask for our names, they just called us seeds, after a while; we forgot our real names and called ourselves seeds.

First we die

One of the passersby was always coming around consistently; he acted like he owned the entire estate. the person wasn’t like my father or any of my siblings, he was different. The man wore something funny around his body and called it clothes. He stood on two things that looked like the trunk of a tree and he made a funny sound with his mouth. Mother told me that the passerby’s name was Mr. Farmer. We would come around once in a while and take some of my siblings with him. He came around regularly and one day, mother pulled me close and told me why.

 

She told me that Mr. Farmer was consuming my siblings. I immediately got scared at the sound of that, but, she had more to say. Mother told me that those of my siblings that were not consumed by Mr. Farmer were buried alive; covered in the ground and left to die a slow and painful death. At the sound of this, I got really scared. Mother must have sensed my fears so she quickly added, “But those that are buried alive are the luckiest”, I became confused, ‘how can they be the luckiest?’ I enquired, and then mother explained to me those that are buried have a chance to rise again and give birth to an entire nation. ‘But first, they must die!’ she added.

First we die

My little mind was finding it hard to comprehend mother’s words but I didn’t have much time. Mr. Farmer was coming in my direction and from the way he was looking at me; I could tell that he was coming to take me away. Mother saw the confusion in my eyes and she repeated those words that resonated through my mind, ‘if you are not consumed you are the luckiest, but first you must die!’

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