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It was the usual August gathering atmosphere for the women of Owu. They were all dressed in bright white laced blouses and navy blue wrappers with the imprints of their community coat of arms wrapped around their waists. They all chattered nonstop at the top of their voices, looking hearty and cheerful. The great musician of Owu's land blasted loud music from speakers. This time they were in the king's palace for the meeting. From a distance, it was clear that the women were not there to play. To be honest, whenever the great Owu kingdom's women gathered, they meant business, and there would be plenty of eating and drinking.

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The other part was in the back of the venue, adding more wood to the fire and spices to the food. The smoke from burning wood filled the air, reddening their eyes and choking them on the same side. They were the group in charge of preparing the food for today's meeting. Unlike the others, who were dressed beautifully, this particular group was not. They were dressed in their usual work attire.

"Mama Uka, please add more wood to the fire. The smoke is too much". Mama David the chairlady and first wife of the king who was incharge of the cooking committee asked.

"Can I get more salt too? I think the food needs more salt, ``Mama Uka replied, standing from her sitting space to check on the fire.

"I will get one when I come out, I want to use the restroom" she replied.

Mama Amanda and Ezenwanyi, the king's mother, sat in the opposite corner, dicing vegetables for the salad preparation. Despite being in her late eighties, Ezenwanyi enjoyed joining the women for the August meeting, despite the fact that she should have retired by now and enjoyed the wealth of her son the king. And the women admired her ingenuity and wisdom. She was so wise that she helped a couple in the community who were having marital problems resolve their problem.

"I heard your son is now working abroad in a big company," Ezenwanyi asked Mama Amanda.

"Yes o my mother, God is very faithful. My son has been a source of pride to me" Mama Amanda said smiling you could tell it was from a woman filled with pride. "Did you even know that he bought me a car"

Are you serious

"Yes, my mother. It is even parked outside."

" Oh may God be praised," Ezenwanyi said. "After the preparation we can go outside let me see it and rejoice with you"

"No problem mother"

"We now wait for when he will bring home a wife. So we can lay our hands in them to be fruitful and bear children ".

Right at that moment, Mama Uka ran out of the house shouting.

"Come o, come o. Our husband, the king, is not breathing again. I tried calling him to wake up but he did not respond. Then I checked his breath and he was not breathing" she yelled in distress.

Their once happy atmosphere turned sour and wailings could be heard already from the women seated outside, especially the king's wives. The loud music was turned off and sadness filled the air. Within minutes the whole palace was filled with elders of the land. The news had traveled fast as the women sent for them. Apart from wives of the king, no other woman or person is allowed into the king's room apart from the elders.

Fingers crossed and hours passed, no one heard from the elders that had gone in to see the king. Apart from when the sent for the chief priest. The chief priest arrived dressed in his white apparel which was only worn whenever he wanted to communicate with the gods and joined the elders in the king's room. Few hours passed and they elders and Chief priest came out of the room.

The atmosphere became calm as everyone waited to hear if the king has gone to be with the ancestors.

The chief priest spoke.
"People of our great land, I bring you good news. Our king Eze Omama hasn't departed to the great beyond. He has only gone in a trance which has been a normal routine in our land every seven years. The only bad thing here was that it happened when our women were celebrating their August meeting. I plead again that you fear not for in the morning the king shall return from his trance. And when he does he shall return with a message from our ancestors to usher us into a new era" To the women he said. "So make merry and continue your discussion on how to better our land for we are about to enter a new era" he stamped his staff on the floor and took his leave.

Just as they were told the music was played again and the women of the land. Continued with their August meeting. Making merry and dancing late into the night. And at dawn the king returned back to life with a message from the ancestors that will usher in a new era in their beloved kingdom.

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