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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)

TITLE: A Stranger To Herself
By Olawale Ogunsola


A Professor of Mathematics discovered his love for the subject early in life.

He "invented" a formula to solve an equation which was used as a student and taught his students for many years.

One strange thing about him was: he never saw any of his own manuscripts as a student. Also no one ever complained about his formula; so he was happy about it. In the last year of his career, he condemned his own formulated formula when he gave a student zero using that formula for the same equation.

What will you say has happened to him and (or) his formula?

This was a perfect description of Clara, a grandma with five daughters and a son. Her BOTH (Baby Of The House), last born, was only ten years old.

One cool Sunday afternoon, when service was just over, Clara, the wife of a Clergyman, was at home planning what she and her household would eat. About six visitors were in their sitting room with Chinedu reciting some of the Rhymes and Poems she was taught in school.

Suddenly, Clara emerged from her livingroom and walked toward her daughter, "Will you keep quiet?" she retorted, folding her left hand fingers and placing them on her waist; her right index finger placed on her lips.

"You're disturbing the peace of other people in this house." she added, folding her right hand fingers and placing them on her waist.

"Please ma, allow her to carry out some revisions of her school work. She may have to lower her voice." one of the visitors was trying to plead with Clara, putting her palms together as if she was praying.

"Thank you madam. I understand but if allowed to do it silently, soon, her voice will be raised again and occupants of the next buildings around us will loose their peace." she explained, facing the woman who pleaded.

"It is her custom and tradition," she continued, turning to Chinedu, her voice now amplified, everyone in the vicinity could hear her "to talk endlessly. I saw her many times on the way to school, in company of her friends, her lips were busy like a manual typewriter: Pra-pa-ta-pa-ta, pra-pa-ta-pa-ta- pa-ta-ta..."

As she uttered those words, her voice continued to grow louder as she gave Chnedu a scornfull look to register further her disgust for her verbosity.

Clara continued, "I've seen you during breaktime in the school, assembling your classmates who listened to your "God-knows-what" that you tell them. You never listen to their contributions. What do you even talk about non-stop?" she asked nodding her head forcefully like a lizard.

All this while, Chinedu had adjusted her sitting position; head on the arm of an executive cushion chair. Her cheek rested on the right palm- concentrating and absorbing every word from her mother's mouth.

Clara concluded, "As if all those were not enough, after school hours, she engaged in her talking business; clapping and squizing her lips. You're a talkative, stop it!"

As she turned away to attend to some household chores, Chinedu stood up, beckoned to her mother as she folded her fingers and placed them on her waist as her mother did. She said, "Mummy, listen! Who gave birth to me?"

"Of course I did!"

"Who breastfed me?"

"Yes I did. What has that..."

"Mummy wait!" Chinedu cut in, flagging her left hand before returning it to her waist.

"Who babywalked me?"

"I did with your older siblings..."

"Under your supervision and watchful eyes?"

"Yes, of course." Clara answered recalling those sweet memories.

"Do you know that all along, I've been watching and learning from you?" Chinedu asked facing her mother confidently.

In the house for a few moment, one can hear a pin-drop.

"Do you know that my secret prayer is that I should be a razor-tongued lady like my mother?" Chinedu resumed

"If I'm a talkative as you alleged, mummy, you're a "talkaholic". If it is bad to be a talkative, then it's sad that I've taken after a bad model, that's you!"

Chinedu rounded off and took her seat, drew a wooden stool and rested her feet on it.

"No! No! You're not taking after me. You resemble your father." Clara protested vehemently.


.Everyone present echoed, shaking their heads in disagreement with Clara's declaration because the man of God was known to be soft spoken and reasoned with others from the Word of God.

1. Talkaholic is not a word from the dictionary but coined to show the excessiveness of Clara's words.
2. This is a true life story with little modifications.
3. Every parent is an example for his/her children.

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This article has been read 277 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/04/13
This is a charming story. The first paragraph was a bit confusing, and though I realize you were using it as an example, I think the mother daughter story is powerful by itself and doesn't need the opener. It is so true that kids watch us all the time, even when we aren't aware of it. The dialog could me tweaked a bit to sound more realistic, but you did a nice job of giving an example of example. This is something we all can learn from. Nice job.
C D Swanson 08/04/13
This story will touch many people as they reflect and see a little bit of someone they "know" within the words.

Good interaction with the MC's, and great message.

God bless~