The Thief had patrolled 🚶🏿♂️the street of Edmund Crescent severally, before dawn, when the chickens came out to roost, during the day when the sun was at its hottest and at dusk when all creatures where known to be asleep.
He knew which estate was the weakest at security and the resident porous for his evil deed. He had come as a visitor to observe, other times he had come as a friend to mingle with the crowd of mallams who bombarded the only entrance of the street. He had joined the street urchins in smoking cannabis, eating meals he could not identify from dirty ceramic plates and laughing at jokes he did not find funny.
Sometimes when he failed at pronouncing a word properly in their dialect, they slapped him on the back shouting ‘’Yamiri’’, but they knew him and he considered himself a friend.
The residents of Edmund Crescent where fast asleep, Christmas was around the corner and every home glittered with red, blue and green Christmas lights. A slow and melodious Christmas song chimed out from Baba Jade’s balcony, soothing the sleeping residents.
Baba Jade was a loud thin tall man, and he lived in the most porous estate. The residents were known to be quiet and old civilians. His apartment was the second apartment on the right wing and he always left his front porch door open. Unlike the other residents, he had refused to install a burglary proof claiming he lived upstairs, but the thief knew everyone considered him miserly.
The thief had waited until midnight amongst the urchins on the street. When he could hear a pin drop, he had risen from the mat, which he shared with a few of the mallams and moved further away from them, walking as if he was in a haste to ease himself.
He looked around him once, then twice before jumping through the left area of the fence landing where the ground was soft, where Mr Tobi had planted his shrubs. Then as quietly as possible, he tip toed to the right wing and proceeded to climb the burglary proof of Madame Ada. It was not as easy as he assumed but he was able to climb into Baba Jade’s balcony without waking up any of the residents or being noticed.
The first thing that hit him inside Baba Jade’s living room was the foul stench emanating from an unidentified location. He scrunched his nose up and proceeded to move around picking up expensive phones and items he deemed valuable. He had just entered the children’s room when his feet struck something sharp; Arghh, he screamed!
A flash of light came on by his left, instantly he turned his face towards the direction of the light obscuring his vision. Immediately screams of Ole! Ole! rang out! As someone knocked him to the ground from his right.
Ta ni yen? Screamed Baba Jade rushing to the entrance of his sons’ room from his connecting door, a wrapper tied hastily around his waist.
O je oluko ole! Jade his eldest son responded grabbing the thief by his neck.
The thief looked around him in shock, staring into the eyes of four angry faces. He had not considered Baba Jade’s sons to be home.
Mama Jade was already screaming Ole! Ole!, with her two hands on her 🙆🏾♀️🙆🏾♀️ head, rousing the sleeping neighbors.
As they dragged him down the stairs by his neck collar, he tried to run 🏃🏿♂️ for his life, fear consuming him, but Baba Jade was strong for his age and held on to him tight, slapping and kicking him. He was trapped.
‘’Jowo dariji mi’’ the thief murmured meekly, ‘’O je ise ti esu’’, he claimed rubbing his two hands together as they pushed him down the stairs.
‘’So fun esu lati wa si fipamo re’’! Baba Jade responded angrily pushing him into the center of the crowd.
The residents had gathered at the ground floor each looking at the thief in astonishment.
‘’Ni bo ni o ti wa’’ Mr Tobi asked as Baba Jade opened the bag strapped at the Thief’s back.
Ah, he is Yoruba. Madam Ada hissed.
‘’Biko Biko gbaghara m’’ The thief said looking at Madam Ada and her husband, a pleading look in his eyes.
Ah, na Omo Igbo! Alhaji responded, shaking his head from side to side, while his wife folded her hands across her breast looking on.
Ah don Allah a taimake ni! The Thief responded. The residents clasped their hands over their mouths in astonishment😱😱.
The mallams had arrived by now, sharpening their machetes on the ground, their actions bloodthirsty.
‘’Ina yake inda yake’’, they asked coming closer to the center of the circle.
The thief screamed louder, ‘yan uwana sun taimake ni’.
‘’Ah, shine Gabriel’’, one of the mallams screamed, dropping his machete in shock!
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