*Operation 111/chicken robbery* Final Episode

If you have missed episode one and two of Tawiah Aboagye’s short story read below:

*Operation 111/Chicken Robbery* Episode one

*Operation 111/Chicken Robbery* Episode two

“Okay fine, before I talk, promise me you guys won’t lay a hand on me again,” B-Duke demanded.

“What makes you think that even if we should promise you, we will fulfill the promise? We will be as fake as you are in any case,” I said to him in reply.

“Okay, it’s true, it won’t make any difference. My mother  asked me, after finishing the chicken, whether I knew anything about Papa Atta’s biggest rooster being stolen,” B-Duke started.

“You fool! After stealing the chicken from us, you sold us out cheaply to your mother?” K.B asked, this time unable to hide his fright.

“You know I would never do that, and in any case, you know that my mother had been protecting  us. If she had any intentions of nailing us, she would have done so a long time ago,” B-Duke said, in defense of his  mother.

“Dukie, just tell us what is going on before we are summoned by our parents,” I pleaded with B-Duke. Fear and horror were gripping me.

“Let me spill the beans then,” he said, “My mother says that Papa Atta has given the thieves of his biggest rooster until the sun sets to bring back his rooster, or else he will take us to the shrine and let the gods kill us. As for the one, who with both hands grabbed his biggest rooster, he Papa Atta will plead with the gods to deliver that person to him, so he can kill him with his bare hands.”

We didn’t have to ask whether the source of this information was valid. Like I said before, B-Duke’s mother was known for accurate gossip.

“That can’t be! Since when did Papa Atta start consulting the shrine?” I asked, surprised.

“Since the time some of us decided to steal his biggest rooster,” B-Duke replied mockingly. He turned to K.B. “You see, if you had left that rooster alone, we wouldn’t be in this fix.”

Papa Atta was known to be a hard head in the neighbourhood who didn’t believe in anything apart from his double barrel gun and action.

For him to have decided to go that far, only spelled out how serious he was in uncovering the rooster thief.
“Enough of that nonsense and tell us where the chicken is,” K.B blurted out stupidly.

“Why won’t you be reasonable for once? Do you think this is a joke? Why would his mother visit my parents at this odd hour?” Just as I was reprimanding K.B, I heard the heavy voice of my dad trumpet my name… KOOOFFIII

I wished to flee. But my father’s tone was so fierce that I froze at the sound of it. We all dutifully marched to the presence of my parents and B-Duke’s mother. The women began scolding us with their words for what we had done. But I saw in the eyes of my father that he was not satisfied with what we were receiving as punishment. His ways of punishment were a little bit unorthodox.

After we were tried before the court of my parents, we are all marched to Papa Atta’s house. Papa Atta sat quietly under a shed on his compound, probably stewing over the loss of his biggest rooster.

Papa Atta was surprised to see us. He was a friend of my father, ever since they both served in the military and my father was the only person in the neighbourhood he considered a friend.

“All correct sir!” Papa Atta saluted jokingly when he saw my father.

“Yes sir! May I have your permission to carry on?” My father replied, standing still immediately.

“You have my permission to carry on.” Papa Atta said. The ex-servicemen got lost for a few minutes in the euphoria and reflecting on their heydays.

My parents and B-Duke’s mother took a seat offered to them by Papa Atta and my father ordered us to kneel down.

We knelt steadily, paying full attention and hoping that things would not get out of hand.

After my father had finished telling Papa Atta why we were there, he expressed his surprise to know that I was actually a part of the group that stole his rooster.

“Tell me boys, which of you grabbed my biggest rooster?” Before Papa Atta could finish asking the question, B-Duke had his hand pointing to K.B. Papa Atta did not hide his hatred for him, but for the respect he had for my father, Papa Atta decided to let it go.

Even though my father asked to pay him back whatever price he would charge for the roosters, he rejected the offer, requesting that we stay with him until 6pm, which was five hours away.

My dad willingly agreed, knowing that this was nothing but a request by Papa Atta to leave us in his custody for punishment.

As my parents and B-Duke’s mother left, my father turned back and asked, “How long has this been going on? How many times have you boys stolen from this man?”

“This is our 1st time stealing from Papa Atta. It is our 11th operation and that big rooster was the 111th rooster we have stolen,” I answered…

Tawiah Aboagye

I’m cool and Poetic, Author of the play The African Within.