Home Adult Stories “Anima’s Nightmare: The Dark Secrets of Aunt Tabuaa”

“Anima’s Nightmare: The Dark Secrets of Aunt Tabuaa”

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Anima lived in a small village called Asoroboa with her aunt, Tabuaa. Despite her aunt’s mistreatment, Anima was a beautiful and hardworking young girl. She would wake up early every day to go alone to the river, after completing her chores of sweeping the compound. Unlike her, aunt Tabuaa’s own two daughters, were not allowed to work and were exempt from any household chores. Anima was burdened with all the responsibilities, from fetching water to cooking for the entire family. Sometimes, she was even deprived of food.

One fateful day, Anima was punished by being starved from morning till evening because she took longer than expected to fetch firewood. Frustrated and weary, she decided to go to the Mmusuo forest alone to gather firewood. As she collected the firewood, her thoughts turned to her deceased mother and the hardships she faced. Overwhelmed with emotion, she found solace on a timber log and wept, yearning for her mother’s support and guidance.

Struggling under the weight of the firewood, Anima found it difficult to balance it on her head. Determined, she persevered and with the help of a nearby stump, managed to carry the load. Due to the delays caused by her struggles, she arrived home late from the farm and faced a beating and food deprivation from her wicked aunt.

Anima’s life revolved around work as her aunt denied her the opportunity to attend school. Tabuaa made it clear that Anima’s purpose was to serve her, not to receive an education. Anima was always seen toiling in the farm and kitchen, which unintentionally developed her cooking skills. Cooking became her passion, and she excelled at preparing various local dishes such as fufu, groundnut soup, palm nut soup, and light soup. Her dishes, especially her TZ and ayoyo/bra soup, were exceptional. Anima possessed a talent for cooking.

When Tabuaa discovered Anima’s cooking abilities, she saw an opportunity to exploit her niece for financial gain. Anima was sent to cook for wealthy families in neighbouring villages, while Tabuaa pocketed the money without giving Anima a penny. One day, Anima was sent to the chief’s palace to cook for the chief’s family. By this time, Anima had blossomed into a beautiful young lady. However, due to her worn-out and dirty clothes, her beauty went unnoticed by the men in the village. But the king’s son admired her.

One day, Anima encountered a man named Nana Agyenim Boateng in their village. Anima had been preparing dishes for a naming ceremony and was on her way home when she met him.

“Excuse me, young lady. What is your name?” he asked.

“I’m Anima, Aunt Tabuaa’s niece,” she replied.

“Oh, I see. Are you the daughter of Agya Nkroma?” he inquired.

“Yes, sir,” she confirmed.

“Your father was my friend”,” he said.

Nana Boateng and Agya Nkroma had been close friends and prosperous merchants who dealt in livestock. Their wealth vanished after Agya Nkroma’s wife passed away. Anima was overjoyed to learn of their connection and began visiting Nana Boateng regularly, assisting him with household chores. The man provided her with financial support until her aunt discovered their interactions. Tabuaa hated him, forbidding Anima from going to his house again. That day, Anima suffered a severe beating from her aunt.

Tabuaa harboured bitterness towards Nana Boateng due to a past incident. When she was young, Nana Boateng had proposed love to her because of his wealth. Delighted, Tabuaa shared the news with her mother, anticipating a prosperous future. However, upon hearing their conversation, Nana Boateng overheard their plans to poison him after their wedding to claim his wealth. He was heartbroken and spent a sleepless night without eating. The next day, he devised a plan to teach Tabuaa and her mother a lesson. He proposed a wedding ceremony to Tabuaa, which she eagerly accepted. The families agreed, and the entire village anticipated the event. On the designated day, the village gathered at Tabuaa’s house, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the groom. However, he never appeared, and it became known that he had disappeared. This incident became the talk of the neighbouring villages, bringing immense shame upon Tabuaa and her family. This rejection fueled Tabuaa’s bitterness towards Nana Boateng, and she vowed never to speak to him again. Unaware of this history, Anima continued her friendship with Nana Boateng. Which she received beating she would never forget.

Days later, the village learned that the crowned prince was searching for a bride from their village. All the villagers assembled at the chief’s palace the next day, dressed in their finest clothes and adorned with beads, as the crowned prince would select a bride from among the eligible young ladies. Tabuaa made sure her daughters were the first in line, dressed impeccably to capture the prince’s attention.

Anima, on the other hand, was forbidden from attending the gathering because her aunt feared that her beauty would overshadow her own daughters’. Therefore, she was sent to the farm to collect firewood. As Anima collected firewood under a mango tree in the farm, she witnessed an intriguing incident. A mango fruit fell from the tree, attracting the attention of both a bush rat and a tortoise. The rat, in its haste, tripped and met a tragic end by colliding with the mango tree. However, the tortoise, despite its slow pace, managed to reach the fruit and feast on it. Anima was puzzled by this display and left the scene, feeling both amazed and fearful.

Meanwhile, at the palace, the crowned prince declared that he would choose his bride based on who prepared the most delicious meal. The chief’s linguist conveyed this message to all the young ladies, instructing them to report to the palace with their prepared dishes at sunset. Tabuaa hastily sent her daughters home to cook, but Anima was still in the farm, unaware of the prince’s proclamation. At the riverside, Anima met her friend Akofa, who hailed from a distant village but lived with her uncle Efo Azaglo in Asoroboa. Akofa informed Anima about the crowned prince’s criteria. Trusting Akofa’s honesty and intelligence, Anima rushed home to find no one present. They had all gone to the palace. She discovered all the ingredients locked away, except for palm oil and roasted corn flour in the kitchen. With limited resources, Anima quickly prepared a dish called Aprapransa. She arrived at the palace and entrusted her meal to one of the palace maids to present on her behalf. Due to her plain appearance, Anima positioned herself at a distance from the gathering.

When the prince tasted the various meals, he found none of them to be satisfying. Finally, the last bowl, containing Anima’s Aprapransa, was presented to him. Upon tasting it, he immediately approached the chief and whispered in his ear. Subsequently, the chief’s linguist announced to the crowd that the prince had selected the person who prepared the Aprapransa as his bride. Confusion and anticipation filled the air as everyone wondered who the chosen lady could be.

When no one stepped forward, the atmosphere grew quiet. Finally, a soft voice emerged from a small hill near the palace, declaring, “I am the one.” All eyes turned to see Anima, wearing messy hair and a dirty dress made from a sack. To the villagers, she appeared as a dirty and unattractive lady, but to the prince, she shone with undeniable beauty.

Anima became the bride of the young prince, and she was swiftly ushered into the queen mother’s quarters. There, the queen mother imparted valuable advice to Anima about maintaining a successful marriage. She emphasized the importance of hard work, trust, forgiveness, effective communication, and marital intimacy. Grateful for the queen mother’s guidance, Anima emerged from the room as a radiant star in the night, dressed in beautiful kente clothing and adorned with local ornaments. The village rejoiced, celebrating the enchanting wedding. However, Aunt Tabuaa and her daughters, Yaa Kyerewaa and Adwoa Pineman, fumed with bitterness.

Plotting a deadly scheme, Tabuaa and her daughters devised a plan rooted in village customs. According to tradition, the bride of a prince had the privilege of selecting two maids from among the remaining ladies to serve her for a month. Tabuaa’s daughters eagerly volunteered to fulfil this role. Although hesitant, Anima recalled her friend Akofa’s advice: to judge less and love more, leaving behind negative memories and forgiving quickly. Consequently, she agreed to Tabuaa’s proposal.

A week later, Aunt Tabuaa brought palm wine as a gift for Anima. Anima placed it in her room, intending to drink it later that afternoon. During the harmattan season, Anima warmed water for her husband’s bath. After breaking their fast in the morning, they departed for the royal garden accompanied by several maidservants. Tabuaa’s daughters, however, left early that morning to wash clothes by the riverside. Anima found their behaviour peculiar but chose to remain silent and joined her husband in the garden. Before leaving, she informed the chief, her father-in-law, about the palm wine in her room and invited him to use it if he wished.

In the evening, as the prince and Anima lingered in the garden, Tabuaa and her daughters arrived at the palace, hoping to discover the success of their evil plan. While conversing with the chief, one of Tabuaa’s daughters suddenly rushed to the toilet, complaining of abdominal pain. A maid followed her and discovered her lying on the floor, bleeding from her mouth. She had passed away. Before the maid could inform the chief of this tragic occurrence, the second daughter screamed from her room, clutching her stomach. The chief attempted to rise but collapsed, blood streaming from his mouth and nose.

It was evident that the wine had been poisoned. In the ensuing chaos, Tabuaa confessed to her heinous act, which led to the deaths of her daughters. In her distress, Tabuaa unknowingly consumed the same poisoned wine she had brought for Anima when the chief served her and her daughters. The palace descended into pandemonium as people rushed frantically. A messenger was sent for the chief’s herbalist. In her dying moments, Tabuaa regretted her actions, realizing the tragic fate a mother had given upon her own children.

Before the herbalist arrived at the palace, the chief passed away. His final words expressed the need to crown the young prince as his successor. Chief Pompomsuo died at the age of ninety-six. The messenger relayed the news to the couple in the garden, and they returned home grief-stricken. The village mourned and conducted their burial rites for several days. Subsequently, the young prince was crowned chief, and Anima became the beautiful first lady of the village. She acquired numerous maidservants and properties, and together they lived happily ever after.

Anima’s story serves as a reminder that one’s destiny cannot be altered by others if blessed by a higher power……. THE END

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