#In Our Neigbourhood

Coping with quarrelsome neighbours

By Sunmola olowookere


Neighbours in any area like siblings need to understand themselves well so they don’t rub each other up the wrong way. Disagreements between individuals or groups will breed resentment, resentment breeds quarrel while these quarrels could graduate into stiff enmity if left unresolved.,

In our neighbourhood, trouble is brewing as two neighbours prepare themselves for a showdown. Before the conflict, the neighbours were friendly and did things together.

It all began with the issue of a troublesome goat who would not allow Mrs. Santos a minute of rest. Although the law states that people must keep their livestock in and not allow them to roam, the owner of the goat had no care about the law.

Since the goat was a wee babe, it was a bundle of trouble with his attitude and had dragged it’s owner into several skirmishes with the neighbours.

It loved going into people’s houses to take its meal although it would have been fed by its owner every morning before it would be released from its den.

 It seems that its owner was not feeding it well going by its daily conduct. Each day, one resident or the other would have cause to chase it with stones and curse it.

Its insolence was apparent in the flashing eyes and little flicking tail. It is difficult to catch so whenever it stole from the nelghbours’ kitchens, it was able to go scot free. Though its assailants would shake their fist at it and threatened it with dire consequences, it would run to its owner’s house and stay put there until the crisis blows over. Despite its craftiness, Mr. and Mrs Santos who had warned its owner several times about the goat’s thieving were planning something sinister for the wily old goat. Its ‘ owner’s attitude too was not helping matters.

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 Whenever she heard people chasing the goat and accusing it of eating their food, she would hide behind her curtain and mock them for being careless by leaving their doors opened.

The ravings and the complaints never moved her any as she would never apologize to anybody who complained to her. She would merely say “oh! This goat, what will I do about you?” She would then turn to the complainant and advised them to make sure that their doors were alivays locked.

A very saucy woman who lived on the other street took her to task about her attitude to her goat’s stealing. The woman too had  come to complain and the owners reply made her very furious “why are you behaving like this? What is your business with me locking my door? Is that what you are supposed to say? You better keep that your goat indoors or else I will not be answerable for what  will do” .

It would have become an uproar had the old woman not held her peace. As her accuser launched her attack, she realized that she probably will not win the verbal contest, so she kept mute.

So when it finally happened, the old battleaxe could not pinpoint the exact perpetrator of her beloved goat’s murder. .

Unknown to her, the Santos were the one who gave poison to her goat. As she saw the goat stretching in pain and rolling on the ground, she began to feel apprehensive.

Her livestock had been made targets by wicked people and she feared that this one too had been targeted. Many of them had been stolen, while many had been maimed. This one was to pay the ultimate price.

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She did not have too long to wait before her fears were confirmed. The goat stretched in another bout of pain as it died. She was very angry as she contemplated who could have done it. She decided it has to be one of her neighbours.

She prepared for a battle with them and her mouth tightened with resolve. Even her children along with her neighbours trod very softly around her, not wanting incur her wrath.

For a whole day, she left his carcass outside without disposing it. She was seething with rage.

No one answered her as she raged and cursed.

However, she had no one to accuse for the cruel act.

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