SHORT STORY: Father’s Land

Things are so hard these days. In fact, three-square-meals is nothing but a phrase; we just eat to stay alive. Our father isn’t a lazy man; it’s just that times are really changing for him. After thinking it through, we planned to cultivate the six plots of land he inherited in our village. Perhaps, a mixed farming of corn and cassava would pay some bills.

My mother and my three siblings were to be involved in this cultivation. Father has told the stories of his grandfather who had twenty-two children which were all useful on his oil palm plantation farm. It was therefore time for us to sacrifice twice a week – Wednesdays and Saturdays for the farm. At first, it was tough working on the farm but soon, we will get used to the new hustle.

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My only sister who always find excuse to stay away from the farm had no option but to join us when she lost her smartphone. Father promised to get her another once we harvest and sell the corn on the land. We already had buyers who said in a couple of weeks, the corn will be ready for the market.

It was therefore a heartbreak when father received a call from one of the villagers that our farm has been ruined by herdsmen and their cattle. The herdsmen fed on some while their cattle threaded on the rest.

The young cassava too also suffered their share of the treatment by the animals. The only word the villagers used to console us is that we should thank our creator that we were not on the farm when they invaded our farmland; we could have also paid with our lives.