I have two brothers. We’ll call them B and G.
G went through a phase in our childhood where he never told a lie. It wasn’t so much that he was good, he was just fearless. B and I on the other hand weren’t so brave. One Saturday afternoon my mother unveiled a packet of HobNobs. After giving us our approved rations, she lined us up, told us in no uncertain terms not to touch the rest of the biscuits and left the house.
A few hours later I found B hiding in our bedroom, his face covered in biscuit crumbs. ‘I’m not there o!’ I shouted at him. I didn’t think he would get caught though. Surely my mother wouldn’t notice if one or two were missing? I plunked myself down in front of the TV and forgot all about B and his misdemeanour. Fast forward a few more hours.
‘B, G, MEE, COME HERE NOW!!!’ Oh oh, Mummy was back. We sprinted to her room dreading the plight that awaited us. ‘I’m innocent,’ I kept thinking, ‘I’ll be alright.’
‘Who ate the biscuits I left in my drawer?’
Straight to business. She wasn’t playing.
‘Mummy it wasn’t me,’ we all chorused.
‘I’ll ask you again. Who ate the biscuits I left in my drawer?’
‘Mummy I don’t know,’ we chorused.
‘G, was it you?’
‘No mummy, it wasn’t me.’
‘You can go. I know you don’t tell lies.’
Huh?! I thought to myself, that simple?
‘MEE and B, if one of you doesn’t confess I will flog you until you turn black and blue.’
Silence. What can I say, I WAS a loyal sister. I now know better.
‘You don’t want to confess ehn? Okay, I will deal with you.’
Before we could plan our exit strategy, she picked up her koboko and the flogging began.
‘Who ate the biscuits ehn, who ate the biscuits?!’
With each stroke the pitch of her voice went up a notch.
‘Mummy it wasn’t me!’ I wailed.
‘I will not have children who tell lies. Today you will learn how to tell the truth.’
Unable to bear the agony anymore, my brother cried out,’ I ate six and gave her four!’
‘B, you gave me what?! So you even ate everything. Why are you now lying?’
My mother focused all her attention on me.
‘Your brother has confessed and you are still lying. You are still lying.’
I’ve never been flogged so much in all my life. When B saw that my mother was willing to go for the grave, he fessed up.
‘Mummy I didn’t give her any, I ate it alone.’
With those words I escaped premature death.
I still haven’t forgiven you. Watch your back B…and you too Mummy!