A few months ago, my mom told my nieces this story about how I was born and decided to put pen to paper. Here it is for your enjoyment. Please note that names were changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike.
Long before your Uncle Oluremi and your father, Abimbola were given to me, there was your Aunt Aderonke.
Now Aderonke was my first child, this is what I tell people, and this is really what I want people to think. If the truth be told, I know the govenment would have to get involved. I haven't mentioned anything about your aunt's birth to any living person. I do not know at this late stage whether or not to reveal the truth to you girls, but I suppose I must.
"Mum" is the word, meaning, I am going to relay to you girls the circumstances of Auntie Aderonke's birth. But you must promise not to tell anyone, not even your pretty teddy bears, nor your dolls.
At 18 years old I was a carefree, happy teenager running around my backyard, swinging from the trees, skating, riding my bike, skipping rope and eating ice cream every day. When my parents called me I always obeyed and went to them. I was a good kid. My neighbor had a large vegetable garden and everyday he gave us vegetables, so we ate very well.
One evening I was outside in my yard disposing of some garbage when I heard a faint cry. I thought nothing of it because in my neighborhood there were plenty of children and kids were always crying so I went indoors, washed up, brushed my teeth and went to bed.
Sometime during the night I was awaken by something soft and furry touching my face. I sat upright in bed and felt my two cats Lightening and Nosey sitting on me. I asked them if they wanted to eat but instead they pushed me onto the floor and tried dragging me to the door. I then understood they wanted me to follow them. So I put on my slippers, opened the door and followed after them. After about ten minutes of huffing and puffing and trying to keep Lightening and Nosey in view we came to the prettiest garden I have ever seen. all around me were roses of every color, daffodils, daisies, carnations and pumpkins. In the center of this beauty were pumpkins. Large, yellowish, orange pumpkins.
WOW! They looked as if they were shining.
I sat near these shining pumpkins and rested. My two companions jumped up onto the largest of these pumpkins, looked at me and I swear Lightening and Nosey were smiling. I sat and looked at them and after a few minutes I heard a noise, a crying sound. I was so scared that I jumped up so fast I fell over some pumpkins and realised that I was listening to a baby crying. But where was it coming from?
Oh no. The pumpkins were shaking now, things were really getting weird. I ran home fast, jumped into bed and pulled the covers over my head. I stayed in bed until the sun came up.
Lightening and Nosey did not come home that night. "It's okay, I thought. When they get hungry they will come begging." But even at supper time they did not appear and I started to worry. What's happening with them. They cannot be lost, they are together and they are cats. They have noses to smell their way home, so they aren't lost.
What if a pumpkin, that large shiny pumpkin toppled over onth them and they are trapped, or even crushed? There they are, sweet, soft Lightening, climbing and jumping from tree to tree so fast, lying hurt under that pumpkin, waiting for me to rescue him with Nosey. There's Nosey so considerate, always bringing me gifts freshly killed, or something still wiggling, like last week he had captured a small bird and presented it to me. Sweet Nosey. Now they need me, and I must go.
I ran all the way to that pretty flower garden, stopping not once and I did not feel tired.
Before me was a sight I could not understand so I fell down on the pumpkin and just looked. Lightening and Nosey came and rubbed against me as if to say, 'don't be afraid'.
I sat up and stretched out my arms because creeping towards mw as the loveliest brown-eyed, baby girl. She smiled and giggled as I held her. She wiggled and hugged me tight and immediately I fell in love with here as she snuggled into my arms, closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
But where did she come from?
Where are her parents?
Why is she out here, in a garden, alone?
And then I understood s I looked closely at her. In her hair were pumpkin seeds and her skin smelled of fresh pumpkin and in her tiny fists were seven little pumpkin seeds.
A pumpkin baby -- a real pumpkin baby. They are rea! Pumpkin babies are real!! I had only read about them in story books, but now I have one. A special precious pumpkin baby has been given to me, entrusted to me.
I am lucky!
I am special!
But can I care for her? Can I?
Of course I can, after all I have cared for Lightening and Nosey all these years and they are just fine.
The difference now is that with a baby I can teach her to speak like me and I shall love her always, my precious pumpkin baby. I will call her Terrylynn. No, that is a little girl's name. She will grow to be a woman - she needs a strong name. Aderonke. I will name her Aderonke. So now Aderonke my precious little girl let's go home so that I could give you a nice warm bath and introduce you to your new family. Ha-ha-ha that will be interesting.
Written by Cynthia Webson Bademosi
March 12, 2008