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Journal of the African Literature Association





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One of the most delightful, cherished seasons on the farm is the dry season, when everything around is imbued with a special kind of quiescence - no road­-ways made muddy by soppy dewdrops. No chilly weather, no noisy mosquitoes to contend with, at least none to disturb one's sleep. One could sleep peacefully for as long as one desired in the lull of the quiet breeze. My most favorite part of this season was the plentiful game. It was a time when children got the chance to learn the art of trapping and hunting game in the bush. And those who had not yet honed their trapping skills could start out by setting metal traps. Those who couldn't afford metal traps could, at least, fashion simple rat traps from stretched rope. As for me, my catapult was always at hand and my pockets were always bulging with the rocks with which I always filled them. I had used this catapult to hunt many different species of birds and game. One time, within the space of three days, I had bagged a plump squirrel. Then there was this particular day, I remember. It was cocoa leaves I went after - an errand for my mother, who wanted them for wrapping and storing salt. Always, on such errands, I never left home without my catapult, my sure protection against all kinds of startling rodents and birds, especially.


Translated from the Yorùbá by Pamela J. Olúbùnmi Smith.

Smith, Pamela J. Olúbùnmi.. “Respite at the Farm” (being an English Translation of an excerpt from Akínwùmí Ìsolá’s novel, Ogún Omodé, chapter two (Mo Sùn Lóko). Journal of the African Literature Association. 7.2 (Winter 2012/spring 2013): 197-204. Also in YORÙBÁ: Journal of Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria, 7.1 (June 2012): 244-257. Print.