Victor Ehikhamenor's story, Riding Monkey With Pako, is published in the new summer issue of Per Contra.
Deboy is a village boy who begins to yearn for the city after the arrival of the headmaster's son, nicknamed Fedra Gorment. The no-nonsence Pako, Deboy's best friend, is unimpressed by Fedra Gorment's tales of the city. In Pako's company, Deboy takes part in all manners of exciting activities. All goes well, until they decide to ride 'monkey'.
We became suspicious of Fedra Gorment’s city tales when one day he started telling us stories from his books without pictures. Every storybook we had came with pictures. Primary Two Reader had David and Mr. Dauda driving a lorry from Ibadan to Lagos. Primary Three Reader had Mr. Giwa the trader standing in front of his store, and our own Primary Six Reader had the dubious Mr. Ali selling ashes instead of sugar to strangers. So where did Fedra Gorment get his two small books called Eze Goes To School and Chike And The River?
Fedra Gorment spun story after story from the books, claiming that his elder brother in St. John Bosco College, where white men and Indians were teachers, told him these stories. Though we did not believe him, the tales were interesting. That was until the day the albino stepped on a sore by narrating to us the story of a boy whose father was killed by a leopard in a thick forest. The story sounded similar to how a snake killed Pako’s father. From then on, Pako warned me to avoid the headmaster’s son for good.
“Very soon he will tell us he eats rice everyday and plays football with white children,” Pako grabbed my hand and dragged me away from Fedra Gorment’s court.
From the Luba people of West Africa and elsewhere an ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory - Lynne Kelly writing in *Aeon*: A *lukasa* memory board. *Courtesy Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia*...the Luba people of West Africa use a well-documented memory...
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