Sssh! I have a delinquent past as Mummy revealed to me. As a two-year-old, I tugged on a lady’s sparkling earring to a point of tearing her earlobe. The scene of crime was in a bus we travelled in after a Christmas holiday.

You can guess that the lady did not wish us a happy New Year or a nice journey as she disembarked. Well, she never reported the matter to the police but would I have cared at my age?

Few years later, my father came across a dead duck at a flowerbed in our compound. He suspected an act of willfulness on my part after carrying out a postmortem and discovered that the bird had succumbed to an injury from a sharp object – I had hacked it with the garden rake for spilling my porridge the previous day.

I feigned innocence as I watched his anger well up though I felt justified for eliminating the naughty bird that always appeared as though she had emerged from hunger strike. The silly duck had turned us to the village laughingstock by constantly refusing to sit on her eggs despite her broodiness.

The duck named Jezebel forwent her reproductive obligation in favor of duck mash that was in plenty. A family friend had once quipped that she ought to have been put under drip to supplement food intake before the eggs hatched.

My father who valued Jezebel so much opened an inquest file when nobody in the family claimed responsibility for her death. Again, he put a quarter dollar bounty for anyone who would have information on her killer.

That evening, a loudmouthed neighbor’s daughter approached my father with information that I was the last person seen with the victim near the flower garden.

I denied the allegations terming them malicious lies motivated by the reward. She never tabled evidence and the death of Jezebel has remained a mystery until I have revealed today.

Sometimes I’m tempted to believe that I’m paying for my delinquent past. Last weekend, Mama Imu my wife and the mother of the children who are unleashing a past delinquent ghost to and haunt me visited her hair dresser. According to her, the hair dresser recommended that she use a curl activator gel. The big price tag on the gel was a put off but after she threatened not to cook food for a week, I bought the concoction whose ingredients comprised of strange herbs from Haiti and Rwanda not to mention the aloe vera base.

Two days later, our tabby cat came to the house looking like a ghost. I assumed that the poor pet had wandered in the rain and messed up her fur but the fragrance emanating from her body cast doubts on my assumptions.

Come morning and I eavesdropped Mama Imu interrogating the children on the sudden exhaustion of the gel. From the way she blackmailed them into revealing the culprit behind the loss, I discovered that the cat had a treat of its fur on the gel.

It served her right. After all, hadn’t she confessed to me that she had dismantled her father’s transistor radio to rescue a show presenter whom she thought was trapped in the small box when airing an insecticide ad?

Her search for the culprit hit a snag and her dressing table became a no-go zone. Any of the kids who came near it would have been eaten raw. They all complied owing to the tension that lasted for weeks.

The least I would like to hear is travelling in the company of my youngest daughter in a public commuter service. Not at this era when the bus crew have neglected the installation of dustbins in their vehicles.

If I have to make the journey in her company and this is when it’s veeeery necessary, I won’t buy anything that would require disposal before the journey ends.

Though she is courteous as not to hit passing motorists with banana peelings without my knowledge, she will dip it into the pocket of the bus conductor’s dust coat. This is when the dustbin is unavailable and the mean looking crew is busy collecting the exorbitant fare he has charged us citing impeding loss in the businesses as a result of global warming.

I have heard her brag to her peers for having done it successfully on her way from school. I don’t condone this but I make less fuss over this except warn her seriously.

I’m disgusted by her deeds and regret the day my Grade three teacher suffered a wasp sting when the insect found its way to her forearm courtesy of my aid.

After the lesson on “small insects” – the teacher’s simplified version of insects, I guided the wasp into the pocket of the teacher’s coat that hung near my desk. He never underrated the smallness of the animal afterwards.

Whom does the buck stop with when our ten-year-old daughter in company of others sneak from the classroom only to be found in the teacher’s house lying on her bed in turns? Do they think that their Madam is a superhuman who lies on her bed with muddy shoes on as they demonstrated one day?

The teacher threw a tantrum and called the parents of the obnoxious pupils for what she termed as crisis meeting.

With the delinquency demon repeatedly rearing its ugly head, I resolved to shop for a good book on parenting. My wife had thought otherwise; she sought counsel with the pastor of her church.

The pastor had long found a solution for such predicament. He said that the best book on parenting and that had won universal acclaim was the Holy Bible and quoted relevant verses.

Despite the diverse solutions for the vice, delinquent traits keep us on our toes while we point fingers on each other as to whom the delinquent child takes after.

More fingers would point at husbands but I think the gimmicks of a bride’s aunts that her light complexion would help illuminate the house might be a detractor that makes bridegrooms overlook the bride’s delinquent past.




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