…SO WE COOKED MY SON AND ATE HIM

“Speak woman! How may I help you?”

She fell to the floor exhausted, tears gushing down her eyes. She was tired. She lacked the words to explain what had just happened to her. What had she just done to herself? Would the king kill me? How was I to explain the inexplicable? Drowning in her own thoughts, she wailed again in the king’s palace,

“Help me, your majesty”

“Speak woman, what’s your trouble?” The king asked again as he obviously began to lose his patience

Trying to put herself together, she knelt before the king. I have to try. There is nothing left to lose

“Your majesty,” she said, taking a deep breath, “The other day a woman suggested that we eat my child and then eat her child the next day. I didn’t have a choice. Things went beyond my control. It was the only way out. So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day, I told her we had to eat her son but she hid him from me”

“How could you?” The king asked sinking into his chair in utter disbelief

You know how people say, ‘It’s a long story’? Well, mine isn’t and it’s easy to sit from your righteous throne and judge me. You must wonder what would have pushed me to eat my child. Why did it seem so easy? Well it wasn’t. But I’ll tell you the story anyway, since you asked. Perhaps, you will soon realize that you are often guilty of the same crime.

I am Rosalie. Rosalie, daughter of Sheba, from the tribe of Dan. I come from a time like yours when things were very hard. I hear you people call it economic recession- a pretty fancy word we couldn’t afford in our time. You see, things weren’t always this hard. I mean, I was doing pretty well with my family, married to the man of my dreams and had a handsome son. Life was pretty good. The economy, as you guys call it, was not bad at all. Then it happened. The Syrians were at it again. King Benhadad and his troops laid siege to the city of Samaria. This was not the first time and probably wasn’t going to be the last. As a result, famine followed. The Syrians had cut off all our supply of good food and water all in the bid to get us to surrender. Honesty, I didn’t care. C’mon, these things happened all the time. Kings come and go.  I was good as long as my family was good. We had enough food and water. Until we didn’t. Bloody Syrians! Curses on them!. Then I began to care.

I know you people think things are really bad for you. What’s his name again? Ehen, Buhari seems to be the cause (well that’s not for me to judge). But it wasn’t as bad as our time. I don’t think you get it. I am talking of a time where a donkey’s head cost 80 pieces silver and doves’ poop cost 5 pieces of silver. Yes, a dove’s poop was that expensive. I mean, things went downhill real fast. And to make things worse, my husband died. Let’s just say he owed a lot of people a lot money for a very long time. So, I had no‘job’as you guys call it. All I had was a kid, a lot of debt bequeathed by my dear husband and no food. I mean, no food at all. It got so bad that beggars were regarded as more wicked than the Syrians. Bloody Syrians should have just killed us. Yup, that’s right; would have saved me a lot of trouble.

So I lost hope. My son and I were going to die. I was ready to accept my fate. And then she came around – Lucia. Lucia was a beautiful woman who had also lost her husband (at least that’s what she told me, I’m sure she lied about that too). She also had a son. Basically, my twin sister. We hustled together.  The woman had impeccable survival skills. You don’t need the details, just know we did things we weren’t supposed to do to survive. But that wasn’t enough. You see, nothing was ever enough in this economy. It was like a worm hole.

So once again, we had nothing, absolutely nothing! It was all over. Just a matter of time. Then one sordid hungry night, as Lucia and I lay awake watching our malnourished sons sleep under the moon light, we started talking about our imminent death.

“Rosalie, we have nothing left. At this rate, we should be dead in the next few days. Our sons are too young and we will probably die before them. And they don’t stand a chance in this world. The world is too wicked. They can’t fend for themselves. I think we should, we should-“. I was getting impatient. So I interrupted rather rudely.

“We should do what, Lucia? Speak up!” She took a deep breath and continued

“I think we should eat our sons” I took a hard long look at Lucia, turned the other side and feigned sleep. Poor woman has gone mad, I thought to myself, it’s obviously the hunger.  But it wasn’t. She was persistent. And things got worse; I didn’t even think that was possible. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I really couldn’t. So, we did it. I killed my son and convinced myself that I was saving him from this cruel world – I killed him. Cooked him. Ate him with Lucia and her son. And then she left me with a full pot of meaty regrets.

As I flooded the king’s palace with tears; you know what I realized? I realized I had not just eaten my son, I had eaten my future. Don’t get me wrong – I know I was already doomed to die. But if there was any hope of things ever getting better, I had just eaten it up. He was supposed to be my getaway card; probably become the king’s servant and I would have been made for life. There was no way in hell I was ever going to get out now. I let the pressure back me into a corner. I believed I had no choice. Ate it all up. But there is always a choice.

Doesn’t that sound like you today? You think the pressure is on and you are constantly making decisions that are eroding your future. Constantly owing debts to your past that your future will be made to pay. You’ve let the pressure get to you and you are doing what you shouldn’t do. You know what it is! You don’t need me to tell you. The point is, you keep making bad choices that will come back to bite you in the behind. I just hope when you are done, you can still look yourself in the mirror. I know that at the time it never seems like what you are doing is such a big deal, but trust me, the choices you make today will be all you have tomorrow. Don’t believe what they tell you. There is always a choice. I know it’s not easy, but don’t do it. Don’t eat your future. Don’t make choices that will ferment where you are, into where you will be forever. Don’t Eat Your Child! Let’s make the right choice today!

The story is adapted from the bible.

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