One time my mother cooked Jollof rice and decided to give the rice to our neighbor and his wife. This was when things were still very hard for us. We didn’t cook much that day. The rice in the pot was not plenty and the ingredients used to cook it weren’t enough. But it was sweet. Just perfect with our four pieces of tiny meat.
She didn’t tell my father about it because she feared he would not approve of it, since we didn’t have much either.
So she planned it in silence.
She called me secretly and said to me.
“Chi, I have finished cooking. I am thinking of giving just small to our neighbor and his wife let them eat.”
I told her it was a good idea.
Truthfully our neighbors didn’t have. They were also managing the same way we were managing.(One time my mother cooked Jollof rice)
I offered some quantity of my rice and meat and told her to add. She also reduced her quantity as well and sacrificed her meat.
I carried the small jollof rice in the plate and went to knock on the door of our neighbor. I gave it to his wife and told her my mother cooked it and wanted to share it with them.
The woman collected it and smiled. She told me to thank my mother and that she would thank my mother specially too.
That evening while we ate in the parlor, my father noticed our plate of rice was not much. There was no meat in the plate either. He asked us if the rice was finished in the pot and why we were eating small portions.
My mother couldn’t lie she explained to him that she had given a little portion out of our portion to the neighbor.
“They don’t have anything to eat this night. I wanted to share.”
My father was silent. Obviously, he wasn’t happy because the food wasn’t much and he wanted us to be satisfied first.
The next morning when we woke up my mother called me to the backyard where we usually throw refuse. She showed me her rice on the floor with the two small pieces of meat.
My mother was pained. She wanted to confront my neighbor but she held herself. She went inside the house and cried. It was her anger that had turned into tears.
“If my food was not sweet, she would have given me back. Rejected it. Or even disposed of it where I will not see.” My mother cried in silence.
That afternoon, our neighbor brought the plate and thanked my mother. She told my mother she enjoyed the food and that it was delicious.
My mother collected the plate and closed her door.
It was the last time we gave food out to them. It took a while before she began to share again. By this time, God had blessed us.
I know you may not trust people. I know you may not want to eat from people. But it is much better and honorable to say no and decline their gift kindly than to collect it and discard it.
My name is Prisses Chidera Obiora and I am the best at what I do.