"You came at last, I really waited for you." She said emotionally and fell into his embrace.
They both had a feeling of warmth that came from their bosom while in each other's embracement. None of them had been close to someone of opposite sex, especially for Apeleka who's father never even considered as a family member, because she was a woman.
Women in the society were a sign of wealth to a man. The more a man had them the more wealthy he was. First, was the number of heads of cattle the man had to give to each of his women's family as portion. Secondly, it was the likelihood of having many children who were signs of wealth too. Female children brought cattle to the family when they were old enough to get married, males led to the continuity of the clan.
The only person who knew her was her mother. It was her mother who could walk out to protect her when she was in trouble. It was her mother who was ready to be punished for her sake. When she needed something, her mother got it for her. Her mother meant everything to her. She was pathetic to other men because they were a nuisance.
The feeling they were getting from this was extremely gratifying. They hugged for over ten minutes. The three animals looked at them with protuberant eyes. They at that moment felt like being humans to experience what the two were experiencing that made them shade tears but don't stop.
After the long hugs, They wanted to kiss but the bird could not allow them. It had taken enough.
It produced a course sound that made the two love birds recede a little. It immediately stopped the moment it saw them apart. 'Do that near me next time and you will know who I am'. The bird scolded inside itself. Apeleka looked at it and shook her head bitterly, she knew it was her doing.
"Apeleka, I have a few questions for you." He said a short time after they left each other's arms.
"Actually, I have been speculative how you knew me. How can you speak in Lu language yet you're from the Lang tribe? How were you communicating with me?"
She signaled him to sit down first. She started her story after that, "I was left in this land to meet my death twelve seasons ago. It was a place I only heard in stories but had never been to. A day passed after I was left on the tree without food and water. I knew I would die here. The next day a beast arrived. It exactly resembled the hyenas I saw back at home except for its large size. It was as big as a fully grown bull. I was surprised when it talked to me. It is then that I realized that everything I had heard about the forbidden land was true."
"When it opened its mouth to eat me up, I heard a very beautiful song from a nearby tree. The moment the song started, instead of devouring me, the hyena untied me and cleaned me up. After doing the cleaning, it walked away and when it came back, it produced a pile of different fruits before me. Being hungry, I shoveled most of them immediately. After I was full, it took me to a nearby rock, laid a beast's skin on the floor. It then laid and covered me on the skin. It then got out of the cave quietly."
"As tired as I was, I tried following it to see what it could do. I was astonished when it dropped down dead. I realized the song died with the animal. I also felt energetic after the song. I was wondering what was happening when she landed on my shoulder." At this point she pointed at the bird on the tree ahead of them. Ochieng' followed the direction she pointed and was slightly surprised to see the gray bird.
"I have seen her before." He exclaimed.
"She's called Jakony(helper). After she landed on my shoulder, she asked me to give my story and I narrated to her. She promised she could help me and I trusted that at once. She helped me settle for a whole four seasons, killing any beast that meant harm for me through her skills. After the four seasons, it said it could help me look for a friend. It then started wandering in the forbidden land. For two seasons it never met a human being in this land. It seemed I was the only one."
"One day she took me for a walk. I was on her back as it flew to the center of the forbidden land. It is then that I saw you resting near that lion friend of yours. Jakony is skilled in mesmerizing everything. She can make anyone do what she wants by just singing. She can also deliver and obtain information from anyone through dreams."
"She got all the information she wanted from you through a dream without you realizing. After it learnt that you're a Lu and a 'Mogwedhi', she taught me your language through her skills. She also told me everything about you. She started watching you since then and could give me information about your daily activities everyday. With time I started liking you, so we could just come, watch you cultivate, play and do everything. We concealed ourselves well so you couldn't notice us."
"When I couldn't get satisfied by just watching you, I started sending her eight seasons ago to get you to me. I am glad you're beside me today."
He was buried in the story that he didn't realize she had finished. She tapped his shoulder lightly and it was then that he stopped daydreaming. He looked at her eyes seriously and said, "I am most excited to be here with you. " He then turned to the bird, clenched his hands and continued, "I thank you Jakony for helping Apeleka in here. "
"It is nothing much, she is my sister, I had to protect her. I am happy she is with you now." The bird replied.
"It is okay." Seeing the bird not in need of appreciation, he said nothing much.
"When are we leaving?" The girl inquired.
"The day after tomorrow." He responded.
The five then went to the lions tribe land where the three visitors were warmly welcomed. If it was any other day, they could have been eaten even before they entered the land. They only survived because they were acquainted with Ochieng'.
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