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ìtan Arìnrìn-àjò Kan | Olúwáfẹ́mi Kẹ́hìndé Lawrence

Ìtan Arìnrìn-àjò kan/ The Child’s story

Ìtan Arìnrìn-àjò kan

Ní àkókò kan ṣẹ́yìn, ní ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ ọdún tí ó dára ṣẹ́yìn. Arìnrìn-àjò kan-án wà, tí ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ ìrìn-àjò alágbára, ìrìn-àjò náà sí dàbi ẹnipé ó pẹ́ púpọ̀ nígbàtí ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ sùgbọ́n tí kò fi bẹ́ẹ̀ jìnnà mọ́ ní ìgbàtí ó rin ìrìn-àjò náà dé ìdajì.

Ó rin ìrìn-àjò náà ní ọ̀nà tí ó ṣókùnkùn fún ìgbà díẹ̀, láì pàdé ohunkóhun títí di ìgbàtí ó padà ṣe alábàpàdé ọmọ kan tí ó rẹwà. Bẹ́ẹ̀ni ó wí fún ọmọ náà pé “kíni ìwọ́ ń ṣe ní ibí yìí?” Ọmọ náà sí ì wípé “nígbàgbogbo ni èmí n ṣere ní ibí yìí. Wá bá mi ṣeré!”

Bẹ́ẹ̀ ni ó bá ọmọ náà ṣeré fún gbogbo ọjọ́ náà, wọ́n sì gbádùn eré náà gidi gan. Òfurufú jẹ́ kìkì dá àwọ búlù, oòrùn ràn gan-an, omi náà mọ́ tónítóní, àwọn ewéko náà jẹ́ ti aláwọ̀ ewé, àwọn òdòdó náà sí lẹ́wà, àwọn méjèèjì sì gbọ́ bí àwọn ẹyẹ ti ń kọrin, wọ́n tún rí ọ̀pọ oúnjẹ àdídùn, gbogbo rẹ̀ síì lẹ́wà. Àkókò yìí jẹ́ àkókò tí ojú ọjọ́ dára, nígbàtí òjò bá rọ̀, wọ́n máa ń fẹ́ láti wo bí òjò náà ti ń rọ̀ àti láti gbọ́òórùn òórùn dídùn. Ó jẹ́ ìdùnnú láti tẹ́tí sí afẹ́fẹ́ nígbàtí ó bá fẹ́, wọ́n sì má n fẹ́ láti gbọ́ ohun tí ó bá sọ, bí ohun tí ó sọ náà ti ń súré jáde láti ilé rẹ̀; níbo ni èyí ti ń wá, ẹnú yà wọ́n! Bẹ́ẹ̀ ni afẹ́fẹ́ yìí ń súfèé tí ó sì ń hó, ó gbá gbogbo àwọ̀ sánmọ̀ tó wà níwáju rẹ̀ kúrò,  afẹ́fẹ́ náà tẹrí gbogbo igi ba, ìró rẹ̀ gba àtùpà ti a fi bíríkì kọ́ kan, ó sì mi ilé tììtì, ó sì mú kí Òkun ru sókè nínú ìbínú. Ṣùgbọ́n, ìgbàtí yìnyín bá rọ̀, jẹ́ ìgbà tí ó dára jùlọ; torípé, kò sí ohunkóhun tí wọ́n fẹ́ ẹ̀ nífẹ̀síí tí ó dára ju bí wọ́n ti fẹ láti gbójú sókè wo àwọn yìnyín funfun tó ń rọ̀ tí wọ́n sì nípọn bí ti ọmú ayà ẹyẹ funfun tí ó tó mílíọ́nù kan ní iye àti láti rí bí yìnyín tí afẹ́fẹ́ gbájọ dé àwọn àyè kan ti tẹ́bẹrẹ àti bí ó ti jìn tó; láti tẹ́tísí ìdákẹ́ tí ń bẹ ní ipa-ọ̀nà àti ojú-ọ̀nà.

Wọ́n rí ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ àwọn ǹkan ìseré tí ó dára jùlọ ní àgbáye àti àwọn ìwé tí ó ní àwòrán ìtọ́kasí tí ó yanilẹ́nu jùlọ: tí ó ní ṣe pẹ̀lú idà kúkurú tí ó tẹ̀, bàtà àbọ̀wọ̀, láwàní, àwọn aràrá àti òmìrán, àwọn iwin àti ọ̀rọ̀ abìyẹ́ tí ń gbénú igi, ìtan okùnrin ọlọ́lá tí ó ni ọrọ̀ àti agbára ṣùgbọ́n tí o ṣ’ekúpa àwọn ìyàwó o rẹ̀, ìtàn Jáàkì àti èso ẹ̀wà, ohun àlùmọ́nì,  ihò tí ń bẹ nínú àpáta àti aginjù, Falẹtáìnì àti Ọ́sìnnì: ìtàn ìbejì kan tí a kọ̀ sílẹ̀. Gbogbo rẹ̀ sí ì jẹ́ ọ̀tun àti òtítọ̀.

Ṣùgbọ́n, ní ọjọ́ kan, lójijì, arìnrìn-àjò náà pàdánù ọmọ náà. Ó sì pe ọmọ náà léraléra àmọ́ kò gbọ́ ki ọmọ náà dáalóhùn. Báyìí, ní arìnrìnàjò náà kọjúmọ́ ọ̀na rẹ̀, ó rìn fún ìgbà pípẹ́ díẹ̀ láì pàdé ohunkóhun títí tí ó fi pàdé arẹwà ọmọkùnrin kan. Ó sì wí fún ọmọkùnrin náà pé “kíni ìwọ́ ń ṣe ní ibì yìí?” ọkùnrin náà sí ì wípé, ìgbà gbogbo ni èmí ń kọ́ ẹ̀kọ́, ẹ̀mí fẹ́ kí o wá kọ́ ẹ̀kọ́ pẹ̀lú mìi”

Báyìí ní ó kẹ́kọ̀ọ́ pẹ̀lú ọmọkùnrin náà ní̵pa ayé Júpítà àti Júnò, àwọn ará Gíríkì àti ará Róòmù. Èmi kìí sì í kọ́ tàbí mọ́ ju ohun tí mo lè sọ, bẹ́ẹ̀ ni arìnrìnàjò náà, torí pé kò pẹ́ tí ó fi gbàgbé púpọ̀ nínú ǹkan wọ̀nyí.  Ṣùgbọ́n, kìí ṣe gbogbo ìgbà ni wọ́n fi ń kẹ́kọ̀ọ́; wọ́n ṣe àwọn eré ìdárayá tí wọn kò tíì ṣe rí. Wọ́n wa ọkọ̀ ojú-omi ní àsìkò ẹ̀rùn, wọ́n sì gun kẹ̀kẹ́ lóri yìnyín ní ìgbà òtútù. Wọ́n mọ ẹ̀sẹ wọ́n lò dáadáa, wọ́n sì mọ ẹsin-ín gùn dáadáa, bẹ́ẹ̀ni eré bọ́ọ̀lù orí ọ̀dàn àti gbogbo eré bọ́ọ̀lù pátá, bíi ehoro àti ajá-ọdẹ ni wọ́n ti ń saré nínú eré-ẹlẹ́wọ̀n, “erémọdé ohun tí n bá ṣe ni ẹ máa ṣe” àti gbogbo àwọn eré ìdárayá mìíràn tí mo lè ronú nípa rẹ̀, kò sì sí ẹnìkan tí ó le lùwọ́n. Wọ́n tún gba ìsinmì,  wọ́n jẹ àkàrà òyìnbó, wọ́n ṣ’ayẹyẹ ní ibi tí wọ́n ti jó títí di ọ̀gànjọ́ òru. Wọ́n wo eré orí-ìtàgé ní bi tí wọ́n ti rí ààfin tó kún fún wúrà àti fàdákà èyí tí ó jáde láti inú ilẹ̀ tí ó jẹ́ gidi, wọ́n sì rí gbogbo àwọn ǹkan tó yanilẹ́nu nínú ayé lẹ́kàn soso. Nípa ti ọ̀rẹ́, wọ́n ni àwọn ọ̀rẹ́ àtàtà, púpọ̀ nínú wọn ni mo fẹ́ láti sọ nípa rẹ̀, gbogbo wọn jẹ́ ọ̀dọ́mọdé bíi ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin arẹwà náà, wọn kò sì jẹ́ àjèjì sí ara wọn fún gbogbo ìgbésí ayé wọn

Síbẹ̀síbẹ̀, ní ọjọ́ kan, láààrín àkókò ìdùnnú yìí, arìnrìn-àjò tún pàdánù ọmọkùnrin náà bí ó ti pàdánù ọmọ náà. Lẹ́yìn ìgbàtí gbogbo bí ó ti pé ọmọkùnrin náà jásí asán, ó tún tẹ̀síwájú nínú ìrìnàjò o rẹ̀, ó tún rin ìrìnàjò náà fún ìgbà pípẹ̀ díẹ̀ si láì rí ohunkóhun títí tí ó fi pàdé ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin kan, ó wí fún ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin náà pé, “kíni ìwọ́ ń ṣe ní ibí yìí?” ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin náà sí ì wípé “ní gbogbo ìgbà ni èmí má n ní ìfẹ́, wá kí a jọ fi ìfẹ́ lò”

Ó bá ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin náà lọ, wọ́n dé ọ̀dọ ọ̀kan nínú àwọn ọmọdébìnrin tó lẹ́wà jùlọ tí a kò tíì rí rí, à fi bíi ọmọbìnrin ará faransé tí ó wà ní ibi kọ́lọ́fín yẹn, ó ní ojú bí ọmọbìnrin ará faransé yìí, irun rẹ̀ dà bíi ti ọmọbìnrin ará faransé yẹn, ó ní tọ́ọ́rọ́ lẹ́ẹ̀kẹ́ bíi ọmọbìnrin ará faransé náà, ó ní àwọ̀ dúdú bíi rẹ̀, ó sì  ń r’ẹ́ẹ̀rín bí ọmọbìnrin ará faransé náà ti máa ń r’ẹ́ẹ̀rín bí mo ti ń báa sọ̀rọ̀. Báyìí ni ọ̀dọ́mọkùnrin náà yó fẹ̀ẹ́ tààrà bí ẹnìkan tí èmi kò ní dárúkọ rẹ̀, ìgbà àkọ́kọ́ tí ó wá, òun náà nífẹ̀ẹ́ ọmọbìnrin faransé yìí. Àmọ́! Ó máa ń rí ìyọlẹ́nu nígbà míràn gẹ́gẹ́ bí ẹnìkan tó má n fẹ́ láti wà pẹ̀lú ọmọbìnrin faransé yìí, wọ́n máa ń jà nígbà míì, gẹ́gẹ́ bí ẹnìkan àti ọmọbìnrin ará faransé náà ti máa ń jà; wọ́n dáriji ara wọn wọ́n sì padà di ọ̀rẹ́, wọ́n jòkó sínú òkùnkùn, wọ́n sì ń kọ lẹ́tà síra wọn lójojúmọ́, kò sì sí ìpinyà rárá, wọ́n sì tún máa ń wá arawọn ṣùgbọ́n tí wọ́n máa ń díbọ́n bí ẹni wípe wọn kìí ṣe bẹ́ẹ̀. Ní àkókò kérésìmesì ni wọ́n bára wọn ṣàdéhùn ìgbeyàwó, wọ́n jókòó súnmọ́ ara wọn ní ẹ̀gbẹ́ iná kan àti pé wọn yóò se ìgbéyàwó láìpẹ́. Gbogbo rẹ̀ rí gẹ́lẹ́ bí ẹnìkan tí èmi kò ní dárúko, pẹ̀lú ọmọbìnrin faransé náà!

Ṣùgbọ́n, arìnrìn-àjò pàdánù wọn ní ọjọ́ kan, bí ó ti pàdánù àwọn ọ̀rẹ́ ẹ rẹ̀ tó kù, lẹ́yìn tí ó sì pè wọ́n kí wọ́n padà wa, tí wọn kò sì padà wá,  ó tún tẹ̀síwájú nínú ìrìn-àjò rẹ̀. Báyìí ni ó tún rin ìrìn-àjò náà fún ìgbà pípẹ́ díẹ̀ láì rí ohunkóhun títí tí ó fi rìn dé ọ̀dọ àgbàlagbà ọkùnrin kan. Bẹ́ẹ̀ni ó wí fún arákùnrin náà pé “kíni ìwọ́ ń ṣe ní ibí yìí?” ó sì dáhùn pé, “Gbogbo ìgbà ni èmí n ṣiṣẹ́. Wá kí o wá ṣiṣẹ́ pẹ̀lú mìi!”

Bẹ́ẹ̀ni ó sì bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ní bá arákùnrin náà ṣiṣẹ́, wọ́n jọ wọ inú aginjù lọ. Wọ́n ri gbogbo ìrìn-àjò náà nínú aginjù, wọ́n kọ́kọ́ rìn ní ilẹ̀ tí ó tẹ́jú àti ojú ọ̀nà tóóró tó ní koríko díẹ̀díẹ̀ lọ́tùn àti lósì, bí aginjù ti máa ń rí ní ìgbà òjò; tí ó bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ní dí tí ó sì ṣókùnkùn, bíi aginjù nígbà ẹ̀rùn; díẹ̀ lára àwọn igi kékèké tí ó tètè hù jáde, tún di pupa. Arákùnrin náà kò nìkàn dáwà, ó ní obìnrin kan tí ọjọ́-orí i rẹ̀ fẹ́ ẹ̀ jẹ́ ìkannáà pẹ̀lú rẹ̀, tí ó jẹ́ ìyàwó rẹ̀; wọ́n ní àwọn ọmọ, tí àwọn náà síì wà pẹ̀lú wọn. Báyìí ni gbogbo wọ́n jọ rin aginjù náà, wọ́n ń gé àwọn igi,  àwọn ẹ̀ka igi àti ibi ti ewé rẹ̀ sí láti wá ojú ọ̀nà, wọ́n ń ru ẹ̀rù, wọ́n sì ń ṣiṣẹ́ kárakára.

Ní ìgbà kan, wọ́n rìn dé ọ̀nà kan tí ó gbòòrò tí ó ni àwọn igi gíga gíga ṣùgbọ́n tí koríko kékèké hù ní abẹ́ ẹ rẹ̀, èyí tí ó já sí aginjù tó dí. Wọ́n sì gbọ́ ohùn ọmọ kékeré kan ní òkèrè tí ó ń kígbe “Bàbá, bàbá, èmi ni ọmọ mìíràn! Ẹ dúró fún mi!” Ní àkókò yẹn wọn rí ọmọ náà bí èyí tó kéré jọjọ, tí ìrísí rẹ̀ síì ń tóbi síi nígbà tí óún súnmọ́ wọn, tí ó sáré láti darapọ̀ mọ́ wọn, nígbàtí ó dé bẹ̀, gbogbo wọ́n rọ̀gbà yiká, wọ́n f’ẹnu kòó lẹ́nu wọ́n sì ki káàbọ̀; lẹ́yìn náà gbogbo wọ́n tẹ̀síwájú.

Ní ìgbà kan, wọ́n rin ọ̀nà gbòòrò yìí lóríṣiríṣi ní ìgba kan náà, lẹ́yìn náà gbogbo wọ́n dúró jẹ́, ọ̀kan nínú àwọn ọmọ náà síì wí pé “Bàbá, mò ń lọ sí ibì odò ńlá,” Ẹlòmíràn síì wípé “Bàbá, mò ńlọ sí Íńdíà,” Ẹlòmíràn “Bàbá, mo fẹ́ wá ọrọ̀ mi níbi tí mo ti lè wa,” Ẹlòmíràn “Bàbá, mò ń lọ sí ọ̀run!,” pẹ̀lú ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ omijé nígbàtí wọ́n pínyà, wọ́n lọ lọ́tọ̀ọ̀tọ̀ sí ìsàlẹ̀ ọ̀nà gbòòrò náà; ọmọ tí ó lọ sí ọ̀run, gòkè re’nú afẹ́fẹ́ wúrà ó sì pòórà lójijì.

Nígbàkúgbà tí ìpinyà wọ̀nyí bá ṣẹlẹ̀, arìnrìn-àjò náà wo arákùnrin náà, ó sì ri pé ó wo ojú ọ̀run èyí tó ga ju igi ilẹ̀ lọ, ọjọ́ ti bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ní pojúdà ní àkókò yìí, oòrùn sí tì n r’ebi à ti wọ̀. Òun náà rí pe é, irun orí Òun ti ń di ewú. Ṣùgbọ́n, wọn kò le è sinmi fún ìgbà pípẹ́, torípé wọ́n ní ìrìn-àjò láti rìn,  ó sì ṣe pàtàkì fún wọn láti wà lójú iṣẹ́ ní gbogbo ìgbà.

Nígbẹ̀yìngbẹ́yín, ọ̀pọ̀lọpọ̀ ìpinyà ló ti wà débi pé kò sí ọmọ kankan tí ó ṣẹ́ kù, à fi arìnrìn-àjò, arákùnrin àti obìnrin náà ni wọ́n jọ k’ọ̀wọ́rìn láti tẹ̀síwájú nínú ìrin wọn. Àkókò yìí, aginjù ti yípadà sí awọ̀ òféfèé àti búráùn; pẹ̀lú ewéko náà, pàápàá igi igbó, ti bẹ̀rẹ̀ sí ní wó lulẹ̀.

Báyìí ni wọ́n dé ọ̀nà gbòòrò kan tí ó ṣókùnkùn ju àwọn ìyókù lọ, wọ́n sì ń tẹ̀ síwájú nínú ìrìn-àjò láì ronú pé ìrìn-àjò náà kò dára fún wọn nígbà tí obìnrin náà dúró.

“Ọkọ mìi”, “A pè mí” ni Obìnrin náà sọ

Wọ́n tẹ́tí, wọ́n sì gbọ́ ohùn kan ní ọ̀nà jínjìn sí ọ̀nà gbòòrò náà, tí ó sọ pé, “Ìyá, ìyá!”

Ó jẹ́ ohùn ọmọ àkọ́kọ́ tí sọ pé, “ mò ń lọ sí ọ̀run!” Bàbá sì wípé “Èmí gbàdúrà kí ó má jẹ̀ ẹ́ ìsinsìyí. Àtiwọ̀ oòrùn ti súnmọ́ gidi. Èmí gbàdúra kí ó má jẹ̀ ẹ́ ìsinsìyí!”.

Ṣùgbọ́n, ohùn náà kígbe “Ìyá, ìyá!” láì gbọ́ ti bàbá, bí ó tilẹ̀ jẹ́ pé irun orí i rẹ̀ ti fẹ́rẹ̀ funfun tán, omijé sì wà ní ojú rẹ̀.

Lẹ́yìn náà, ìyá a rẹ̀, tí ó ti rì tẹ́lẹ̀ sí inú okùnkùn ti ọ̀nà gbòòrò tó ṣókùnkùn yìí, bí ó ti ń lọ kúro bẹ́ẹ̀ ni apá a rẹ̀ yí ọrùn ọmọ náà ká, ó fi ẹnu kò ó lẹ́nu, ó sì wípé “Olùfẹ́ mìi, ní ṣe ni a pè mí, mo sì lọ!” Ó sì ti lọ. A sì fi arìnrìn-àjò náà àti arákùnrin nìkan sílẹ̀.

Wọ́n sì jọ lọ síwájú àti síwájú títí wọ́n fi fẹ́ ẹ̀ dé ipẹ̀kun aginjù náà, wọ́n súnmọ́ tóbẹ́ẹ̀ tí wọ́n le è rí pupa wíwọ̀-oòrùn náà ti ń tàn láàárín àwọn igi.

Síbẹ̀, lẹ́ẹ̀kan sí i, bí ó ti ń wa ọ̀nà láàárín àwọn ẹ̀ka-igi náà, arìnrìn àjò náà pàdánù ọ̀rẹ́ ẹ rẹ̀. Ó pè títí ṣùgbọ́n kò rí ìdáhùn kankan, nígbàtí ó jáde nínú aginjù náà, tí ó sì rí oòrùn àláfíà tó ràn sí orí àwọn òdòdó aláwọ̀ àlùkò, ó dé ọ̀dọ̀ bàbá arúgbó kan tí ó jókòó sórí igi àwókù kan. Báyìí ni ó wí fún bàbá arúgbó náà pé “kíni ìwọ́ ń ṣe ní ibí yìí?” Bàbá arúgbó náà sọ́rọ̀ pẹ̀lú ẹ̀rín músẹ́ pé “gbogbo ìgbà ni èmí máa ń ṣèrántí, wá ṣ’èrántí pẹ̀lú mìi!”

Báyìí ni arìnrìn àjò náà jókòó sí ẹ̀gbẹ́ bàbá arúgbó náà, lójúkojú pẹ̀lú ìtànsán oòrùn tó fún ni ní àlááfíà; gbogbo àwọn ọ̀rẹ́ ẹ rẹ̀ sí padà wá ní ìrọwọ́rọsẹ̀, wọ́n dúró yí i ká. Ọmọ náà tí ó rẹwà, arẹwà okùnrin náà, ọ̀dọ́mokùnrin náà tí ó yóòfẹ́, bàbá, ìyá àti àwọn ọmọ; gbogbo wọn ló wà níbẹ̀, kò sì pàdánù ohunkóhun. Báyìí ni ó nífẹ̀ẹ́ gbogbo wọn, ó sì ní inúure àti sùúrù pẹ̀lú gbogbo wọn, inúu rẹ̀ sí dùn láti rí gbogbo wọn, gbogbo wọ́n sì bọlá fún-un, wọ́n sì tún nífẹ̀ẹ́ ẹ rẹ̀. Mo sì rò pé arìnrìn-àjò náà gbọ́dọ̀ jẹ́ ẹ̀yin gan alára, bàba bàbá mìi ọ̀wọ́n, nítorí àwọn nǹkan wọ̀nyí jẹ́ ohun tí o ṣe sí wa àti ohun tí a ṣe sí ọ.

The Child’s story

Once upon a time, a good many years ago, there was a traveller, and he set out upon a journey. It was a magic journey, and was to seem very long when he began it, and very short when he got half way through. 

He travelled along a rather dark path for some little time, without meeting anything, until at last he came to a beautiful child. So he said to the child, “What do you do here?” And the child said, “I am always at play. Come and play with me!” 

So, he played with that child, the whole day long, and they were very merry. The sky was so blue, the sun was so bright, the water was so sparkling, the leaves were so green, the flowers were so lovely, and they heard such singing-birds and saw so many butteries, that everything was beautiful. This was in fine weather. When it rained, they loved to watch the falling drops, and to smell the fresh scents. When it blew, it was delightful to listen to the wind, and fancy what it said, as it came rushing from its home– where was that, they wondered!–whistling and howling, driving the clouds before it, bending the trees, rumbling in the chimneys, shaking the house, and making the sea roar in fury. But, when it snowed, that was best of all; for, they liked nothing so well as to look up at the white flakes falling fast and thick, like down from the breasts of millions of white birds; and to see how smooth and deep the drift was; and to listen to the hush upon the paths and roads. 

They had plenty of the finest toys in the world, and the most astonishing picture-books: all about scimitars and slippers and turbans, and dwarfs and giants and genii and fairies, and blue- beards and bean-stalks and riches and caverns and forests and Valentines and Orsons: and all new and all true. 

But, one day, of a sudden, the traveller lost the child. He called to him over and over again, but got no answer. So, he went upon his road, and went on for a little while without meeting anything, until at last he came to a handsome boy. So, he said to the boy, “What do you do here?” And the boy said, “I am always learning. Come and learn with me.” 

So he learned with that boy about Jupiter and Juno, and the Greeks and the Romans, and I don’t know what, and learned more than I could tell–or he either, for he soon forgot a great deal of it. But, they were not always learning; they had the merriest games that ever were played. They rowed upon the river in summer, and skated on the ice in winter; they were active afoot, and active on horseback; at cricket, and all games at ball; at prisoner’s base, hare and hounds, follow my leader, and more sports than I can think of; nobody could beat them. They had holidays too, and Twelfth cakes, and parties where they danced till midnight, and real Theatres where they saw palaces of real gold and silver rise out of the real earth, and saw all the wonders of the world at once. As to friends, they had such dear friends and so many of them, that I want the time to reckon them up. They were all young, like the handsome boy, and were never to be strange to one another all their lives through. 

Still, one day, in the midst of all these pleasures, the traveller lost the boy as he had lost the child, and, after calling to him in vain, went on upon his journey. So he went on for a little while without seeing anything, until at last he came to a young man. So, he said to the young man, “What do you do here?” And the young man said, “I am always in love. Come and love with me.” 

So, he went away with that young man, and presently they came to one of the prettiest girls that ever was seen–just like Fanny in the corner there–and she had eyes like Fanny, and hair like Fanny, and dimples like Fanny’s, and she laughed and coloured just as Fanny does while I am talking about her. So, the young man fell in love directly–just as Somebody I won’t mention, the first time he came here, did with Fanny. Well! he was teased sometimes–just as Somebody used to be by Fanny; and they quarrelled sometimes–just as Somebody and Fanny used to quarrel; and they made it up, and sat in the dark, and wrote letters every day, and never were happy asunder, and were always looking out for one another and pretending not to, and were engaged at Christmas-time, and sat close to one another by the fire, and were going to be married very soon–all exactly like Somebody I won’t mention, and Fanny! 

But, the traveller lost them one day, as he had lost the rest of his friends, and, after calling to them to come back, which they never did, went on upon his journey. So, he went on for a little while without seeing anything, until at last he came to a middle-aged gentleman. So, he said to the gentleman, “What are you doing here?” And his answer was, “I am always busy. Come and be busy with me!” 

So, he began to be very busy with that gentleman, and they went on through the wood together. The whole journey was through a wood, only it had been open and green at first, like a wood in spring; and now began to be thick and dark, like a wood in summer; some of the little trees that had come out earliest, were even turning brown. The gentleman was not alone, but had a lady of about the same age with him, who was his Wife; and they had children, who were with them too. So, they all went on together through the wood, cutting down the trees, and making a path through the branches and the fallen leaves, and carrying burdens, and working hard. 

Sometimes, they came to a long green avenue that opened into deeper woods. Then they would hear a very little, distant voice crying, “Father, father, I am another child! Stop for me!” And presently they would see a very little figure, growing larger as it came along, running to join them. When it came up, they all crowded round it, and kissed and welcomed it; and then they all went on together. 

Sometimes, they came to several avenues at once, and then they all stood still, and one of the children said, “Father, I am going to sea,” and another said, “Father, I am going to India,” and another, “Father, I am going to seek my fortune where I can,” and another,

“Father, I am going to Heaven!” So, with many tears at parting, they went, solitary, down those avenues, each child upon its way; and the child who went to Heaven, rose into the golden air and vanished. 

Whenever these partings happened, the traveller looked at the gentleman, and saw him glance up at the sky above the trees, where the day was beginning to decline, and the sunset to come on. He saw, too, that his hair was turning grey. But, they never could rest long, for they had their journey to perform, and it was necessary for them to be always busy. 

At last, there had been so many partings that there were no children left, and only the traveller, the gentleman, and the lady, went upon their way in company. And now the wood was yellow; and now brown; and the leaves, even of the forest trees, began to fall. 

So, they came to an avenue that was darker than the rest, and were pressing forward on their journey without looking down it when the lady stopped. 

“My husband,” said the lady. “I am called.” 

They listened, and they heard a voice a long way down the avenue, say, “Mother, mother!” 

It was the voice of the first child who had said, “I am going to Heaven!” and the father said, “I pray not yet. The sunset is very near. I pray not yet!” 

But, the voice cried, “Mother, mother!” without minding him, though his hair was now quite white, and tears were on his face. 

Then, the mother, who was already drawn into the shade of the dark avenue and moving away with her arms still round his neck, kissed him, and said, “My dearest, I am summoned, and I go!” And she was gone. And the traveller and he were left alone together. 

And they went on and on together, until they came to very near the end of the wood: so near, that they could see the sunset shining red before them through the trees. 

Yet, once more, while he broke his way among the branches, the traveller lost his friend. He called and called, but there was no reply, and when he passed out of the wood, and saw the peaceful sun going down upon a wide purple prospect, he came to an old man sitting on a fallen tree. So, he said to the old man, “What do you do here?” And the old man said with a calm smile, “I am always remembering. Come and remember with me!”  So the traveller sat down by the side of that old man, face to face with the serene sunset; and all his friends came softly back and stood around him. The beautiful child, the handsome boy, the young man in love, the father, mother, and children: every one of them was there, and he had lost nothing. So, he loved them all, and was kind and forbearing with them all, and was always pleased to watch them all, and they all honoured and loved him. And I think the traveller must be yourself, dear Grandfather, because this what you do to us, and what we do to you. 

-Charles Dickens (Dickens short story)

Nípa Olùtúmọ̀:

Olúwáfẹ́mi Kẹ́hìndé jẹ́ ọmọ ìpínlẹ̀ Ọ̀yọ́, tí a bí ní ìlú Ìbàdàn. Ó kẹ́kọ̀ọ́ gboyè B.A nínu ẹ̀kọ́ Ìmọ̀ Ẹ̀dá Èdè àti Èdè Yorùbá ní Ilé-ẹ̀kọ́ gíga Yunifásitì Adékúnlé Ajásin Àkùngbá Àkókó. Ònkọ̀wé ni, ó sì fẹ́ràn Èdè àti Àṣà Yorùbá gidi gan.

Àwòrán ojú ìwé yìí jẹ ti image tropical forest: https://www.flocabulary.com/unit/tropical-rainforests/

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