Palm Oil of the Gods
The smell of woodwine and male musk filled the air as he glided towards the shores riding on the wind. “I want you” he said. “Come away with me, come away with me now…” beady eyes looking up into her face.
But why? Why me out of the lot? Why do you seek me? As recompense for the land, cowries and yam you gave my father? Her face was firm, Aura bright and countenance still. She looked regal standing before him. So pure that one could mistake her for a sea goddess.
“No my daughter, I seek thee for a wife not a slave or a price. I pray thee come away with me before it’s morning.” He nudged her gently, hoping for her to follow.
She was still. Watching his every move for he was a god amongst men and she a water maiden. He was a smallish god with macabre wrath and as a water maiden she towered over him but feared him nonetheless. She had played in his courtyard and gardens as a tadpole, picking fruits and flowers and running naked before him but as she grew she had learned to fear and respect him just as much as she did her father (the sea god) for he was a stern god. She had witnessed his anger and the whirl wind wrath that followed.
“Speak to me my princess, I will not strike you, speak your mind”, he said.
“Why me? Why do you want to take me away from my home? Do you wish a war? I am Water and you are Earth, You’re old and I young, wise and I naive, a god and a maiden. Please leave me be I pray you, allow me passage back home.”
“My princess I am old and have not much time. You are young with so many years ahead, you are like fresh wet clay. Allow me mold you into a queen so that when I pass on I’d journey in confidence that the children I bore in old age and the wealth I have gathered over several moons are safe in the hands of the queen I molded myself.
The evil witch doctor in old age teaches his children how to make deadly charms not because he wants them to be evil but because it’s all he can do to ensure their safety from vengeful hearts looking to repay him and his clan for his evils.”
“Young one harden not your heart but follow me. I’d make you happy. Children will run at your feet and servants at your call. I will give you one of your own, that I promise. Speak no further in protest but come away with me.”
Demonstration would be of no use now. She knows he could have taken her with as little as a flash of lightning but he sort a different path. He chose to stoop ask and beg like a mortal, and all these promises, he even offered to allow her have a child. One of her own. She smiled at the thought of servants, she already was used to such a life.
“I will be your queen, but not today. Let me go home, let me see my father once again, please oh great one. And then we can arrange to do things the right way.”
His smile was priceless and his joy made the heavens cry.
Days passed and the maiden heard nothing of the god king but basked in her new status for the god had done just as she had said he would. She danced from Ogbe-Usuowan to Ogbe-Unuame flaunting her new crown. A prize for her indecent manipulations.
Words got to the old god that his actions had been influenced from the very beginning by the seemingly harmless sea maiden. In his fury he sent to her in a flash of thunder and two lightning bolts, Pain, Madness and Eternal Sleep. And it was upon her as he had ordered for she had stained her hands with the palm oil of the gods.