The Lamb who hurts little girls

Here’s a tale from the perspective of an 8 year old me. It should be noted that I’m uncertain whether I was 7 or 8 when this episode ensued.

Once upon a time, I was a Shepherd girl. If in doubt, inquire from my family members who themselves can claim this title or our long lasting neighbours that watched me bloom from the ‘’bubbly flock-of-sheep-chasing’ girl to the ‘stay-at-home and only see her in church’ person I’ve become.
One sunny afternoon, I who ought to have been chilling or at least having my siesta, was awake and roaming the house. My beloved sister (whom I shall address as Ajibike for the sake of this story), harnessed her great talent of finding work for the jobless and called upon me.
Might I mention that I was not on shepherding duty that day, for we worked with a schedule at that time, and everyone had their day. Ajibike had a peculiar way of shepherding that I yearned to learn someday, but alas, my bond with the lambs of the flock superseded this yearning. She’ll take them to the pasture closest to the house, come back home to read her novels, because Bauchi’s sun is hot and a fine geh cannot come and kill herself, then go back to chase them home after two hours or so. On this fateful day, she did the same and as the evening hours were approaching, she needed my ‘helping hand of extraordinare’ to intervene. My job description - open the gate. Quite simple isn’t it? Ideally, we the real shepherds (my brothers and I, and I say this at the expense of my Christmas gift), used the big gate so the entire flock of sheep would pass in peace, with no hitting or traffic. She on the other hand, had a different method, the small door.
There was this lamb I was truly fond of. For from his inception he was mine. He was born of my favourite ewe and I claimed him. Because of this, on my shepherding days, he was always forced (note that I said forced) by me, to hang on my neck, like I saw in numerous posters of Jesus around. Little did I know that when lambs grow horns, they lose it- that part of them that makes them lambs.
Deep sigh!

The betrayal.
I was holding the gate open and waiting for the guys to run in, for they always did, haphazardly too (and in case you never knew, sheep are very foolish) .
There was a clash because of the number of woolly bodies trying to enter the narrow gate at once, but no one thought of hitting me. No one, not even the annoying big ram that was always smelling ‘Ramy’ and getting high on the urine of the ewes.🐏 No, it was mine that hurt me 😭
Mine. He who I called friend, child and everything nice. He was coming in with the whole ruckus, I thought to myself “poor baby, he’s all grown up. Look at those inch long horns, ah! Cuteness.” It was then my protective instincts took over. It was obvious he was the only non-adult struggling to enter, I went to assist him so he won’t get squished at the gate. My homeboy just revolted and did the unspeakable. Till date, I do not know how exactly it happened, but I know it did. Perhaps I developed selective amnesia because of the intensity of the emotional trauma that followed that moment.
All I remember is my face and his coming in close contact, then a sharp pain that zinged into my skull. His horn and my facial bones collided a few centimeters from my left eye, but I didn’t know all this. I wailed and screamed “my eye! I’m blind!”, while quickly lifting my right hand to my face. Of course my hand came down bloody and smeared. Paying no heed to flock or man but my torment, another bout of unrestrained cries began. I saw the Blood and tears flowing from my eye and thought it was my ‘eye juice’. And cried all the more. As you can imagine, there was panic, fear and guilt clogging the atmosphere already. 😂
I don’t know how Ajibike copped, because at that time, I really felt and acted blind in one eye.
I found my way through a teary eye, from the gate to our room. Laid on the bed, cried, pitied myself and my newly acquired disability till I fell asleep.
I’ll tell you that I woke up once I heard my daddy’s voice and ran to him. Then started another round of sobbing, till he examined it and said ‘it’s nothing, you’re fine’ only then did I open my other eye and discover that alas, I wasn’t blind. It was a miss because it hit my nasal bone and that was my redemption. I had a bump, and swollen eyes thanks to my many minutes of crying. My wound was dressed and I was brand new in less than 15 minutes.
Ajibike has shared only in part, her distress during the period I cried and slept, while waiting for our parents. You may wish to ask her in person but I cannot promise you it’s a moment she’d love to relive. Till this day, I have a slightly misaligned and almost crooked nose.
This is the recount of the ram-lamb and the girl.
Lesson learnt is that, once lambs grow horns, they’re not cute and cuddly. They’re rams and mostly would not appreciate physical contact like hugs and kisses.

“We all grow horns and desire to be set free from the boundaries of being children, and in our quest for freedom, we do hurt others. It is an inevitable part of the journey. You can do well to work towards minimal casualties as your chart your course.”

Love, Ballie💖



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