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The little poultry
My parents were highly respected in the community and Dr Joe as everyone called my father was a good man, he cared for people and provided free health care to so many people, there was no day someone would not come to our house for one assistance or the other and dad always made sure that he helped out the best he could, he always told me that helping a fellow man is profitable in every sense though we didn’t have much yet he always had something to give and mum sometimes joked that one day he would give out myself and her to somebody. The love we shared in my family was a profound one and at fifteen, I wake up every morning before my parents, wash dad’s car then go to his room and wake him up before going to school but one day I went to wake him but he failed to open his eyes and kiss my forehead as usual, he never woke up from that sleep so that was how I remained just with mum. Nobody knew what happened to dad but like the priest said during his funeral, “our dear brother who passed away peacefully”.
His death was a devastating one which rocked not just our family but the entire community because so many people relied on him and things took a rough turn on us after his death because mum was a house wife and dad died leaving nothing behind, there was no money in his bank account and all we had was our house therefore mum had to sell his car to fort my education but it didn’t take long and there was no more money left to pay my tuition, the events of the last two years were extremely tough on us because there was no one to help, it was just me and my heart broken mother, dropping out of school broke her heart more but we could no longer afford my tuition, no one cared so fasting and prayer became our daily bread, we would have been awarded trophies if fasting was a competition and not even John the Baptist would have competed with us, we fasted for months and goes only on water for weeks because we could not afford to buy food, I knew that mum was not happy but she pretended to be and taking care of a seventeen years old son with nothing was as painful as giving birth to a baby.
Everyone deserted us and not even the priest was there, all of dad’s friends were gone but Benjamin one of dad’s friends once showed up and wanted to give us a helping hand but on a condition though I was not there when he talked with mum but I overhead her asking him to leave; you know why? He wanted to sleep with her. The more we tried, the tougher it became but one day while going through dad’s diary and stuffs, I stumbled upon a sealed envelope in his briefcase and the envelope was addressed to the red cross motherless home so I opened it and right inside it was three hundred dollars, I immediately knew what to do so I told mum about it and she suggested that we send the money to the red cross as dad had wanted but I gave it a second thought and decided to keep the money because we had nothing in the house, no food and mum wanted to give away three hundred dollars in dad’s memory. Thoughts of what to do with the money kept hitting me or perhaps it was my conscience because I lied to mum about sending the money as she directed then two weeks later, I came up with the plan to set up a poultry but what would I tell mum if she ask where I got the money? I explained my situation to Jeremiah and he promised to tell mum that he sold the chicks to me on credit. He even helped me built a small wooden cubicle in our back yard to rare them.
Rearing chicks was not as easy as I thought, it needed lots of attention, determination and persistence, a lot of cleaning and feeding but I was determined to become somebody but losing 20 out of my 100 chicks in less than a month was frustrating, people laughed at me and my friends nicknamed me the chicken boy, “the son of the doctor now rears chicken” they said but that meant nothing since my own mother was in support of me but not quite long as time passed by and now one year that I began to reap the reward of my work though I cannot express how happy I was the very first day I picked eggs from my poultry and that day, I picked a total of 30eggs and that was just the beginning of the constant flow of eggs, I began selling eggs and the little poultry as people called my poultry became a busy place because customers kept calling for eggs, I saved enough money in two years to build a bigger poultry and had a total of 1000 hens and about 200 cocks.
As a matter of fact, my poultry business grew beyond my own imagination because I was distributing eggs not only in my community but across the entire state and in five years I saved enough money to build a modern poultry which also had an incubation section then began selling not just eggs but frozen chicken as well. Then one day, Jude one of my childhood friends showed up in my office to know if there was a job offer, I was happy to see him because it has been years since we last saw each other and he was one of those who laughed at me, he had been fired from his previous work and now he wanted to work in the little poultry but I realized during our conversation that he knew so much about processing the vegetable oil so the more we talked the more I thought of setting up a processing plant though there was no vacancy for him however, I asked him to come back the next day so I went straight into the internet when he left and sourced more information about processing vegetable oil, I was surprised at my findings that I had to order for one processing machine immediately because I stumbled across a company which sells the processing machine in china and one month later, the machine was right on my door step and that was how the little vegetable oil processing plant came to light and Jude was the plant manager.
Though there were series of challenges in the oil business unlike the poultry business because people wanted brands but I focused on selling my product to the local merchants after all there is nothing better than setting a goal for yourself and reaching it, my speedy success and business ideas awoke my mother’s broken spirit and she became a very important part of the poultry operation then seven years afterwards, I expanded the vegetable oil plant to a capacity of ten processing machines and by then was facing all challenges in the oil business just like a man as dad use to say “BE A MAN”. Reflecting back after all theses years and considering all that I passed through, the huddles and challenges in life, business competitions and more importantly the triumph which life holds tells me that I really did well and mum whispered it into my ears on my wedding day; “You did so well my son and I am proud of you” then I told her that I had a confession to make because there is no suppose to be a lie between a mother and her son, I confessed to her about not sending the money to the red cross motherless home as she directed but to my surprise, she told me that she knew everything about me and Jeremiah because she forced Jeremiah to tell her the truth as she didn’t want me to be in any one’s debt. “That’s my mother”.
This story is to let you know that everything is possible and I had to break it this way because I didn’t want to take much of your time but in essence, I simply want you to know that the little poultry and vegetable oil plant is a dream come true so set your goal and pursue it not minding whatever obstacle that you come upon because there are two types of people; those who face their fear and those who run for cover. To face the fear is better because “without grief there would never be triumph.”
This story is dedicated to my mother Mrs. Agatha Emmanuel.