Daring the Gods – Part 2

In those days, it was said that Janmodu would chew kolanut and bitter kola, chant some strange incantations and suddenly find himself in another land or even on mountaintops, wherever he so desired.

Janmodu was so powerful that at war fronts, he could yank off his own head and put in its place another person’s head and go home with it.

That was why he was called ‘Janmodu, Ekun Baba Ode,’ meaning ‘Janmodu, the great Lion Hunter.’

The First Encounter

It was in January, around 4 a.m. when Bodija was suddenly roused from his sleep by the frenzied screams of his wife and household.

“Help! Help!! Somebody help us!!!” The whole neighbourhood wailed hysterically and they all scurried for safety.

Bodija’s beautiful wife, Ayinke, ran inside her husband’s room, sweating and panting.

“What is the matter with you, Ayinke?” asked Bodija.

“It is the Oro masquerade,” she gasped, “they chased us inside. They are after us, they’ll kill us.”

“What! Kill you?” roared Bodija. “How can they do that? In my house…? Nothing of such will happen!”

“We were cooking the family breakfast meal when they arrived,” his wife explained.

The eerie whistling of the Oro masquerades was still heard outside the premises. The whole neighbourhood was submerged in fear.

The Oro masquerades were must not set their eyes on a female. If a woman should mistakenly appear in their presence, they would kidnap and later slaughter her to the gods.

The masquerades, numbering about 11, were wielding sharp daggers and cutlasses. On their waists and chests were magical amulets and charms.

Bodija, seething with anger and rage, staggered towards his megaphone and grabbed it with annoyance and headed outside.

The Oro masquerades were still outside, whistling deafeningly, putting fear and terror in the hearts of the household. The masquerades were feared from time immemorial as the terror of the night.

Bodija, holding his megaphone at the tip of his lips, thundered: “Heh, men of the night! Do you realise the fact that you have overstepped your bounds?”

But there was no response from the masquerades, which were unmindful of Bodija’s threat and continued whistling and expecting their victims to come out for the ultimate sacrifice and judgment, which was death.

They wanted the blood of Ayinke and other members of his household that saw their nocturnal procession. Bodija loved Ayinke with a passion that could only be compared with his love for truth and could do anything, including climb the highest mountain and swim the deepest ocean just to be with Ayinke.

Now, he was ready to lay down his life and face the fearful masquerades for daring to instill fear in her and threatening his loving and charming Ayinke.

Warriors too, have a soft heart when it comes to women and would not want anything harmful to come near their beloved.

Ayinke was the only woman Bodija ever loved in his life, so trying to hurt her by anybody was like playing with the fangs of a deadly snake, and Bodija would do anything to make her happy, being the apple of his eyes.

Even warriors are super lovers. A heart of lion could be as soft as the petals of flower at the touch of love.

A philosopher once said that at the touch of love, every man becomes a poet…

(To be continued next Saturday)

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