OMENUKO LONGS TO RETURN TO HIS NATIVE LAND
When Omenuko sought reconciliation with the people of our land, he sat down and thought about how he could bring about this reconciliation. Omenuko then said, "It would not be right for me to go and beg people from another land to come and act as mediators between me and the people of my land, because it is not a quarrel between me and them which requires me to invite people to come and judge between us. Rather, I know that I wronged the people of my land. I will find a way to go and meet with them, both living men and spirits." Therefore Omenuko said, "I will send my friend Igwe again, because the task that I set for him concerning the people I sold away was successful."
Omenuko then sent a message to invite his friend Igwe to come. When the message reached Igwe, he came to see his friend Omenuko. When Omenuko saw Igwe coming, he greeted him with, "The finder of the lost!" Igwe then returned the greeting with, "One who does what he says!" The two of them then laughed together, and asked about various people. Omenuko then gave his friend Igwe kola nut. After they had chewed the kola, Omenuko said to Igwe, "My friend, when a human being has an itch, other people scratch it for him, but if a wild animal has an itch, it goes and rubs its back on a tree. Please, when I first appealed to you, you came running and fought like a man. Shake my hand." Igwe then shook his hand. Omenuko then said to him, "Listen now. I did a bad thing in our land against men and spirits a long time ago, because all my thoughts at that time that were unknown to the people were known to the spirits. Therefore, I want to satisfy both men and spirits."
Omenuko then quoted Igwe a proverb, saying, "If a child old enough to wear a cloth drinks from his mother's breast, what shall be done with him?" [This is a highly unusual problem.] Igwe then said to him, "Although a thing may seem impossible to do, there must be a way to do it." He also said to Omenuko, "You are aware that we have in our town a chief of the land and a priest of the spirits. Aniche is the one who can placate the people. Iyiukwa is the priest of the spirits who can placate the spirits." Omenuko said to him, "Please, go and find out for me what I must do so that the minds of humans and spirits will be appeased, so that I and the people and the spirits will be reconciled." Omenuko then gave Igwe money to buy wine and go to see the chief of the land and the priest of the spirits, so they could enumerate for him the things he would need to appease the spirits. Igwe then agreed and left.
When he arrived home, he bought wine and went to see the chief of the land. After they had drunk wine, Igwe told the chief of the land why he had come. The chief cried out, "It is not only my ears that must hear this, so go home today and come back another day so that I can call the elders to join me in hearing this thing." Igwe then asked him, "Do you want me to come tomorrow?" The chief told him that it would be all right for him to come the next day. Igwe then went home. At daybreak, Igwe got some more wine and carried it with him. When he reached the house of the chief of the land, they greeted each other. Igwe then asked him, "What about those people you said were going to come?" The chief said they would arrive soon. So they waited a while, and then they came. Igwe then took the wine and gave it to the chief and also told why he had come.
The chief of the land then said to everyone there, "This is what he told me yesterday, and I told him that I would summon all of you. This is why you have come now--speak your minds, because it is not something to consult privately about." They then said to the chief, "Say what you think about this--your words will be our words." The chief then said to Igwe, "Listen to what you will tell Omenuko. Tell him to bring one cow, eight chicken eggs, one cock, eight large yams and eight small yams." The chief continued, "If he does these things, the hearts of both humans and spirits will be cleansed toward him, provided that he approach the chief of the spirits as he approached me." Igwe then said that Omenuko had told him to go also to the chief of the spirits, Iyiukwa, and ask him too what he should do to please the people and the spirits. Igwe then departed.
The next day he got some wine, carried it to the house of the chief of the spirits, and said to him, "Please, these are the things Omenuko told me to ask." Iyiukwa then replied, "Go back and tell Omenuko that I said to him, "If the female sheep is to grow horns, the back of its head must be strong." Igwe asked him what those words meant. Iyiukwa said, "If Omenuko wants to make peace with the spirits, will he be able to do everything he is told to do?" Igwe replied, "He will do it. Please, list the things now so I can hear." The chief of the spirits agreed, and began to list for him, "One female sheep, one hen, one cock, eight eggs and one duck egg; one basket of yams and a basket of cocoyams, a pod of kola, a pod of kola pepper, four kola nuts, eighty pieces of native chalk, wine in a pot whose bottom has not touched the ground, a pot of raphia palm wine, and a pot of oil palm wine. If Omenuko does these things, it will be good." Igwe thanked him and went away.
But afterward Iyiukwa, the chief of the spirits, remembered that he had forgotten to tell Igwe that Omenuko should not fail to bring four white eagle feathers, so he sent a message to summon Igwe. When the message reached Igwe, Igwe then went to Iyiukwa's house. When they met together, Iyiukwa told Igwe that there was one thing he had forgotten to tell him. That was that Omenuko should not fail to bring four white eagle feathers. Igwe then departed, got ready and went to Omenuko and recounted for him what the chief of the land and the chief of the spirits had said. Omenuko then received all the news joyfully. He said to Igwe, "After I have collected these things, we will sit down and think about how this should be done." Igwe replied, "Yes, what you have said is good." Then Omenuko told Igwe that his own reward would come at the end. Igwe replied, "Don't worry about mine--let us find what we need." The two of them agreed on that, saying that they should let it be, because when you finish work you enjoy the fruits of the labor.