By Ted Malanda
It is an old tradition that when a man comes of age, he gathers his sons and passes forth a few words of wisdom.
And so it was with my father. When I was four, he looked me in the eye and said, “Son? If you want peace, leave your wife’s money alone.”
I had no idea what he was talking about because I was awfully fond of his wife’s money — especially when she converted them into sweets.
I was also more interested in the peanuts on the table, which we were munching in an old stomach bonding ritual between father and son.
Thinking back in retrospect, I suspect that gem of wisdom had arisen after a little fiscal policy disagree ment between the old warrior and his better half.
A year later, I was encroaching on his plate of boiled cassava when he said, “Son? Give your woman freedom. You cannot guard her like a child. There are men in this village, when their wives go to the river, they follow. How do they know what happens when she is behind a bush for six seconds?”
As usual, I had no idea what he was talking about although I was certain the only thing a woman would do behind a bush for six seconds was to irrigate the nation.
But I didn’t, of course, bring my little gem of wisdom to his attention.