Last Days Of Queen Amina – by Davi’O R. Seki (Chapter 2)

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He was also known to have a soft heart, unlike many men during his time, he also had a very attractive body figure, not like that of a warrior, but a prince’s. He was tall, having an ectomorphic body. His nose was roman-type and his eyes were deep set. His lips were thin and his face was shaped like a rectangle. He had a thick wooly hair and his appeal made his father loved him more than he loved his other sons. He was pampered as a growing child, and people saw this to be what enfeebled him.
He was a lover of adventure and went with the Queen Amina’s army to every war, except for when his father was sick and he had chosen to stay back as the army marched towards Borno. He would follow the army and play for them after every successful incursion, which happened to be every single one of their missions led by Amina. At this time, he was in his 60s, and still looked like a youth. He admired Amina’s skills very much and was disappointed that she never chose to jump the broom, because he believed her children would become great too and increase the pride of the Zauzzau people. He was once mad at her for wasting her gifts as she willingly went through menopause into barrenness.
Tanko, Auta’s best friend was a young man of erudition, who was always inclined to knowing which way the wind blew. He was the last child of his parents and the only male child produced from that union. He was their pride. His father was an Arabic teacher in Zauzzau at that time and his mother made jewelries and ornaments and was assisted by her daughters. Tanko began learning at a liefer early age compared to other people in his tribe. He was also blessed with the gift of precognition. It happened as such that on the night of every month that the full moon would first appear, he was able to see what would happen the next day in his sleep.
Not a fan of war or violence, he would from time to time try to persuade Amina not to kill her lovers after a night with them. One time, when they were much younger, he tried to stop her from killing a man she had married on the night she conquered a territory West to Zauzzau, and he almost fell by her sword with the man. Only he had an idea why she killed every lover of hers after spending a night in bed with him, which he thought was a mad one. When they were young, Amina was obsessed about the sara chibiya(praying mantis insect) and spent time capturing these insects and kept them in small transparent bottles that her father had gotten through trades. They remained her favourite of all creatures even till adulthood. The female sara chibiya beheaded the males during or before mating, or killed them right after mating and they often did this to smaller males that were more vulnerable. The larger males ate the females right after mating. Observing these practices amongst these insects probably made Amina pick males that looked much weaker, handsomer than the rest to mate with and not select any male that would be strong enough to kill her instead, so Tanko thought and often suggested to Auta, who too, strongly opposed the idea of Amina slaughtering innocent men after marrying them.
As they walked, Auta broke the silence,
“And just when we thought our warrior wouldn’t get any weirder, she told us of her feeling about jumping the broom and stop conquering land for Zauzzau… and now after her victory over these people, she picks a man who is much bigger, of course, handsomest amongst the survivors. A long time ago, you remember she said she would marry a man like that if she ever found him… She was drunk in the white wine when she said it, but…” he paused for a while with a puzzled and troubled look on his face, then continued “…after all these years, could she have found a kind of man in a foreign land?”

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