You overcome your fears by facing them.
That was what one of my uncles believed in and lived by.
My uncle came to stay with us once in a while. For the purposes of this note, we will call him uncle Jack, although that’s very unlikely, he probably should be uncle Ayo, Tope or Sunday or something along those lines.
He was a young, typical African man’s man who believed women should be women and stay in the kitchen whilst the men went out to work. Furthermore, he believed that a true woman should be as skilled as the Pied Piper when it came to handling small animals. I was not to be an exception.
This Christmas, my uncle had arrived again with little warning to stay with us during the holidays. As usual, my least favourite guests were also staying with us; the chickens. Actually we had 2 hens and several chicks but from what I can remember, one of them had been eaten as part of our pre – Christmas celebrations.
The kitchen again became a ‘no go’ area for me.
I was probably about 8 or 9 years old and it was on a bright sunny day that my uncle decided he was going to help me overcome my fears. I was called into the kitchen after been told that the chickens were out of reach.
That should have raised alarm bells but it didn’t.
I walked into the kitchen confidently, happy that the horrible squawking chickens were out of the way. As I walked closer towards the green metallic stove, I heard loud flapping and clucking. I turned around and saw the big fat hen been swung crazily towards me by my uncle. It was so scared that it squawked till it choked on its own beak. It flapped its large wings against my face and I felt the belly of the chicken and its legs all over my hair down to my neck.
I was screaming and crying, trying to run. By this time, the chicks were screaming as well. All the while my uncle was laughing so hard he eventually dropped the hen.
Luckily, everyone came to see what the commotion was and my aunt rescued me from crazy uncle Jack.
It was definitely not one of my fondest memories.
That was not how I intended to face my fears. Needless to say, my book will not be offering this method as a way to overcome your fears. This was only one of Uncle Jack’s crazy tactics, more to come.
To be continued…
May God bless and keep you in His presence forever, Amen
Dr Elizabeth F Babatunde