Last Days Of Queen Amina – by Davi’O R. Seki (Chapter 3)

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A river spirit rescued her for drowning and she was adopted as a daughter of the water spirit. She sought, however, to pay the queen back. This river also ran through Idah.
The Queen was outside her tent listening to the music Auta played from his flute. Then an innocent looking young woman walked towards them and greeted Queen Amina in hausa. The Zauzans were surprised as she didn’t look anything like them, but she spoke their Hausa like them. She praised Amina and told her of how much she admired the warrior queen and would want to serve her. Amina’s second in command in the army, who was charmed by her beauty leaned over to the queen, and whispered that she accept her as a slave. This he did so that he would marry her later as one of his wives. She turned to Auta and asked him for his opinion, but he didn’t seem to have any. Tanko walked out of his tent with the Man from Idah that Amina had found endearing. He felt a bit uncomfortable on seeing this woman with a long hair, she too was shocked seeing Tanko. Amina called on him and presented the woman to him. She bowed to him. Tanko too did not have anything to say. He ignored the discomfort he had earlier felt. With this, Amina accepted her as one of her maids. As she smiled to the Queen accepting her request, the General asked her what her name was.
“Aisha”, she answered.
That night, Tanko went to bed hoping to see the future in his sleep. But the night passed like most other ones and he woke up without a vision, and in fact, his sleep was dreamless. This was unusual, but he wasn’t worried at all, his chill and bad feeling had disappeared.
He went out of his tent and sees his friend, Auta sitting down quietly by a large rock drinking kunu from a plate. He went there and sat close to him. Tanko, was a bit jolly. He didn’t have any reasons to be — he was just thrown into a good mood. He had sat beside Auta for some time, and Auta was yet to utter any word. Instead, he concentrated on what he drank and was solemn. It looked like he was reflecting on something. Tanko shook him out of his solemn mood.
“You’re silent, Auta… I hope you are having a good morning?” Tanko asked.
“Yes, I am silent. I have to make this noise in my head. Does it disturb you?” Auta asked.
Tanko shrugged and said “No… I wouldn’t let your unusual silence spoil my good morning.”
“That’s impressive… The first sighting of the full moon was last night… What did you see in your sleep?” Auta asked,
“Nothing. My head was as still as the waters of the lake all through the night.” Tanko responded.
“It has never happened like this. Are you not bothered?” Auta asked out of concern.
“Bothered? No, I am not. I just think I should marry a new wife tonight.” Tanko spoke carelessly.
Auta was surprised, but did not suspect that something serious had happened to his friend during the night. He only thought he was trying to be funny, especially with the marriage part. He said out in a solemn tone,
“It seems only I care about the bad signs of these days”
“I will remain happy regardless of the signs you see.” Tanko replied and left to another place.
Later that morning, Tanko spotted Aisha sitting next to a tree, singing as she washed Amina’s abaya. He was immediately charmed by her beauty. He stood at a distance from the tree Amina’s new maid sat under. From where he stood, he watched Aisha.

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