The Herb She Tried

Locals had often used the leaves… to treat a similar condition in goats.

Jolena was winnowing sorghum on the free area behind her house when her son came looking for her. A woman had just arrived carrying a basket of unknown items.

She stopped winnowing and went straight to the house to meet her visitor who, she was slightly amused to find, was a withered grown woman with a clubby nose and an almost bending back. The lady introduced herself as Yuanita and said she had trevelled several miles to arrive at that home.

As usual, after greetings, Jolena retreated to her kitchen to bring some sweet potatoes and porridge.

“Oh thank you so much, but I won’t be eating anything,” objected Yuanita when Jolena returned with the food. She was visibly high with emotions. “I am in great pain and need your husband’s help.”

“Pain? What sort of pain?” asked Jolena, placing the items on the table.

“I have a bleeding womb that has lasted more than five years, and I’ve been directed to your husband by someone he treated many years ago. Look, I carried along some money to pay, um… fifty thousand shillings, if you two won’t mind.”

She was visibly high with emotions.

Jolena did not know how to best respond to the situation. Her husband had died almost seven years ago, and now here was a woman who needed his help. She hesitated a moment, sighed deeply and then replied, “I’m sorry… my husband… my husband is dead… it’s been nearly seven years now.” Yuanita sank back into the sofa in great despair. It was as if all her faith of living had rested upon the shoulders of Jolena’s deceased husband. “But don’t be worried,” continued Jolena, “I will help you.”

Her face lit up with hope all of a sudden. “Will you?” she asked as a confirmation.

“Yes, I will,” reaffirmed Jolena. “I’ll be right back.” She then made as if to leave, but the woman stopped her. “Wait, take this,” she said and handed her the basket. “It is a chicken I carried a long. I guessed it might be important for the occasion.”

“Which occasion? Um… No, Yuanita; I don’t operate like my late husband. Keep it,” Jelena objected. But the woman insisted that she take it, and so she had no choice but to take the chicken to her chicken coop.

If she were a witch like her late husband, she would need the bird in performing her crafts. But she had never practised witchcraft nor herbalism before. Neither did he teach her his work gimmicks. And though she did not know whether her surmises would work, she really needed the woman’s free money for her son’s schooling.

Vegetable gardens like this are adored by most people.

She went straight to her vegetable garden. There was one green she felt tempted to try. Locals had often used the leaves of the black-eyed pea to treat a similar condition in goats. So she plucked a few leaves and pounded with a stone, then mixed the paste with ashes and tied the product in a small polythene bag. Customs demanded that for a medicine to be effective, the patient should not know its content.

She took the mixture to Yuanita. “This should indicate some changes in you within a month,” she explained confidently, handing it to her. “Dry it in the sun and stir a teaspoon of it in a glass of warm water every day to take after your meals.” Yuanita nodded, then paid her dues with a lot of gratitude and left.

A year later, Jolena was weeding her small vegetable garden beside the house when her son beckoned her to the house. She went in and, to her consternation, found Yuanita, looking stronger, healthier and younger than she had appeared last, and carrying a baby in her arms. She smiled at Jolena benevolently and handed her a basket of gifts she had carried along to show her appreciation. She also offered to give her Sh500,000 if she would reveal the ingredients of her medicine.

(C) 2022 Lamittan Minsah, All rights reserved.

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Many thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this piece, please like and leave your thoughts in the comments’ section below. You can also visit here to read all our short stories.

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41 Comments

  1. well written! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, Tricia. πŸ’–πŸ€—

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Welcome, friend! ❣️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ’žβ€πŸ’ž

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a fascinating read, Lamittan. I hope Yuanita never received the ingredients to the medicine so that it didn’t backfire in any way. I truly enjoy your stories, my friend.πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Holy catfish, Grace. What a soul lifting comment! I also very much hope she didn’t get the ingredients ’cause perhaps she was up to commercializing the drug, and disclosing the ingredients would render it inefective. I’ll check on this and perhaps return with part two πŸ˜„πŸ’žβ€πŸ’ž Thanks for taking your time to read and comment, dear. πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure.πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Daphny Aqua says:

    This was quite fascinating to read, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I do wish to know if she gave out the secret ingredient. 😁❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Daph dearest, thank you many times for your wonderful comment. πŸ’– I also hope she didn’t disclose it. I’ll check on this and, Godwilling, return with part two. πŸ˜„It’s such a suspense i guess. Thanks for your continued invaluable support, my friend. πŸ’žβ€πŸ’žβ€πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        You’re most welcome Lam, its always a pleasure to read your words.
        Haha… Well I always love a good suspense, I will be waiting on that. 😁
        It is my utmost pleasure dearest. ❀️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. O yeas, feel most welcome, my friend πŸ’žβ€β€πŸ’ž

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Daphny Aqua says:

        πŸ€—β€οΈ

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sadje says:

    Very interesting story Lamittan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, Sadje my friend. It’s my joy you liked it. πŸ‘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸŒ·

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent story, Lamittan. I’m glad the medicine worked and wonder if she revealed the secret. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m elated you liked it, D. Perhaps she refused to for the safety of the medicine, perhaps she did for the want of money, hah. Thanks for reading and writing such a noble comment. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like to think it was to prevent the medicine from being exploited for profit. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, that was a good reason for it to be kept secret. She understood these, and as part of culture too, I doubt she disclosed the ingredients. Yet if she did, she had her reasons. πŸ˜„

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a great story, Lamittan
    I enjoyed it a lot πŸŽ€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed, dear. Feel mkst welcome πŸ’žπŸŒ·πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

      1. πŸ™πŸŽ€πŸ™πŸŽ€πŸ™

        Liked by 1 person

  7. A great story Lam of a wonderful heart that rendered love and medicine that heals a broken heart!πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. O sure! What a wonderful way to see it, my friend C. I’m glad you loved it, dear. Lots of thanks to you πŸ€—πŸŒ·πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was my pleasure Lam always!!πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

      2. πŸ’žβ€πŸ’žβ€πŸ’ž

        Liked by 1 person

      3. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff Flesch says:

    What a beautiful story about human connection and ingenuity, Lam. Wonderfully created and written. πŸ’–πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, my friend Jeff. I’m happy you found it wonderful and beautiful. πŸ’žπŸ’–πŸ’ž

      Like

  9. Eugenia says:

    A fascinating and well-written story, Lamittan! Revealing the ingredients will negate the magic. πŸͺ„πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly. I also hope she just left it concealed πŸ˜„. It’s a very important medicine. Thanks, my friend. I’m so happy you loved this piece. πŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’ž

      Like

  10. Mike U. says:

    This held my rapt attention from the first sentence. Such adept word-smithing! You really do have a story-teller’s soul, Lamittan. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, so deeply kind and encouraging of you to say, my friend. Your comments do move in my heart with an immeasurable amount of warmth. I’m glad you enjoyed this. Many thanks to you, always.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. What a beautiful person we find in Jolena. Wonderful that everything worked out for Yuanita.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s my joy too that Jolena helped Yuanita. Oh, so wonderful and kind of you to be reading and writing such amazing compliments. Many thanks, dear, always. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, Lamittan. They are great stories.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure πŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’žπŸ’šπŸ’ž

        Liked by 1 person

  12. b4herbal says:

    facinating indeed

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times for your kind comment.

      Like

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