So yeah. I was off for a ride in the woods around Ngwanu town. I felt tall and powerful as I rode past passers-by in awe of my impressive 21-speed mountain bike. I passed a young boy in the opposite direction on his baby tricycle and smiled down on him. Young man, look at me. This is who you wanna be when you grow up. I beamed inwardly with pride until it occurred to me that the people driving by in their jeeps might be thinking the same about me on my bike. My brows creased at the thought and I made for the edge of the woods, away from cars, away from people, away from the madness that was wrongly called civilization. I needed the challenge, the break from the monotony of the office.
The ride into the woods was bumpy and uphill at some places. On my low gears, this wasn’t a problem as my well-toned thighs performed the relay of injecting energy to the wheels of the bike. Besides, it meant I would do all the hard work while I was still strong and coast downhill on the way back when I would be considerably more fatigued. I wandered around in the forest till the sun began to drop below the treeline. I was still enjoying my ride but I had to stop and turn around soon. Just a few more minutes, I thought and kept pushing on as I took in the sights and smells of the twilight jungle. If only I had not taken that awful, terrible decision!
Suddenly, I saw him in the distance, with two abnormally long teeth curling out from his mouth like the mustache of a 16th century philosopher. My bike came to a halt as my nervous system shut down in shock. He sized me up in rage and wild incomprehension at my insolence while I stared at him through my visors. He was the last thing I expected to see out here. A wild boar! I had heard a lot about this epitome of brutality. Apparently this was the mating season and I had ventured into his breeding territory. No doubt I had surprised him by coming too close to his nest of piglets somew…..
Skkkkwwwwweeeeerrrrrrr!!!!! My thoughts were rapidly interrupted by the guttural squeal of the wild boar. My senses returned to me fast and I spun my bike round and remounted while Tobore charged at me from about 100m off. Yes, my brain had switched to survival mode. I had named my enemy or aggressor to better cope with this struggle, and I had calculated that by the time Tobore had covered the distance between us, I would be cycling at top speed. I had a fighting or rather a fleeing chance. Or else, I would have just knelt down promptly and begged Tobore for leniency. But I fled, with as much cycling revolutions per minute as my legs could generate.
The trees began to rush by and everything came into instant focus. I saw everything! The tree trunk in the distance across the path. The monkey buying akara nearby (actually, plucking some leaves). The low hanging branches I had dodged on my way up into the forest. My thought processes became amazingly lucid. I could not make a mistake and live to tell the tale. Tobore would use my destiny to make the hog equivalent of pounded yam and efo riro soup. I shook my head at myself inwardly. Was I still telling these dry twitter jokes in the hour preceding my standing before the Almighty in judgment? Judgment tho……
Brrraaaaahhheeeeewwww!!!! My thoughts were again focused on Tobore who had apparently just bumped my back tyre with such force I wondered how much faster he could run. What if he ran alongside me and snipped off a piece of my calf with his razor sharp tusk? I guess Tobore was not used to hunting animals with round legs. He prolly thought…..
Pfftttttttttt!!!!!!! My back tyre let out all the air in it in one sad, disheartening endless sigh. Tobore had done it. He had deflated my back tyre with his tusky teeth. Was I not finished? While I was distracted calculating my chances of outrunning Tobore on foot, there appeared this demonic tree root ahead which snaked across the path. I could not react fast enough to do my signature all-tyres-clear BMX bandit bicycle jump. That trump card had been defeated now. This tree root would deliver the crushing blow to halt my bike after the mortal blow dealt by Tobore’s tusks. The first tyre passed over without much vibration due to my front shock absorbers. The back tyre though, was a different story entirely. I had forgotten to stand up while going over the bump because I was trying to avoid my head being caught up in the low-hanging branches, just like Absalom of Biblical fame. All I felt was a burst of flame and lightning rush up my spine directly to my brain from my assaulted balls on the bike seat. I saw a vision of the thirteen zodiac constellations in one brief, poignant sweeping view. No wonder when Ekaette did things down there I lost….
I tumbled forward and was flat on my back with my mountain bike flying over my head, removing the last line of defense between me and Tobore. Surely he would go for my neck now. Animals did these things by instinct. They always went for the kidneys, the neck, the balls, the knee-caps, parts of the body that would injure you so badly you would wish you had never survived the attack. IF you survived the attack.
But Tobore was not on my neck yet. He was rolling in the bushes, evidently squealing from pain. I sat up trembling from the adrenaline surge and looked behind me to see Tobore being harassed by another territorial wild boar! Michael he was called, my saving angel. This fight was looking one-sided. Tobore’s guts were being tossed all over the place. I involuntarily put myself in his shoes and shuddered as I stood shakily to my feet. I could have sworn I saw Michael give me the side eye. I got the message. I ran far from the crime scene as fast as humanly possible. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria would have been so proud.