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#Itopa: The Fate of ‘Oremeyi’, The Proud Princess – Ebira Folktale

Long ago, in the kingdom of Oomi, there lived a king and a queen. They had a very beautiful daughter called Oremeyi whose beauty surpassed that of any other person. The princess was well loved and pampered that she eventually became proud. When Oremeyi attained adulthood her parents decided it was time for her to get married. Many suitors came to seek for her hand in marriage, but she refused them all. Princes, hunters, and warriors all hoped to win her heart with gifts but she never seemed to be satisfied with any of them. She rudely dismissed them from her father’s court whenever they came seeking for her hand. She always had one complaint or the other about them.

News of the beautiful but haughty princess had spread far and wide and more men came seeking for her hand. At this point, her parents had begun to despair as to whether she would ever get married since she seemed to reject and insult every man that approached her.

One day, an extremely handsome man came into the town and sought her hand in marriage. He was a well built and handsome man. No one could fault his looks and he came bearing numerous gifts for the princess and her family. Oremeyi was so caught up in the gait and carriage of the young man that she instantly became carried away, despite her parents reservations about not knowing him or anything about him, she refused to listen or heed to anyone’s advice and insisted on marrying the stranger.
After much persuasion, the king realized his hands were tied and that she had made up her mind on marrying the stranger, the marriage ceremony was conducted and typical of the kings’ fashion, everyone had plenty to eat and drink.

The new couple after receiving the royal blessings of their parents, prepared to leave for the home of the groom. As was the custom of Oomi land and especially since it was the princess involved, many maids and servants accompanied the couple bearing different goods that the princess was expected to setup home with.

The journey took them deep into the forests (Iruku) and they did not stop to rest for once. Anytime the princess asked when they would get to his home, he kept promising her soon. One by one, he dismissed the guards, servants and maids that accompanied the princess and she was left to bear the load they had hitherto carried or discard them if there was no one to carry it. Many of the items taken along suffered the same fate.

The princess saw it as strange that her husband never offered to help her carry any of these heavy things which she had to carry, but she sought excuses for him that perhaps males don’t bear loads in his village. As the last of the escorts was sent back, once more Oremeyi expressed concern over the endless journey and the need to send her helps back but he assured her of many more servants upon getting to his home.

At a point in their journey, the handsome couple had to cross a stream (Okuha) and upon crossing, the groom’s features began to change. Gradually he stopped looking human. His ears became longer and hairier; his eyes came closer together and looked very mean. His teeth began to protrude as they became sharper and longer.

The once handsome man became a hideous monster. Oremeyi upon noticing this transformation screamed and screamed but there was no one to hear her. Her once handsome husband was actually a monster. He had taken her deep into the forest where he resided. He pointed to a hole in a cave telling her that would be her home henceforth. He had heard of her pride and decided to assume a human form in other to teach her a lesson. Oremeyi the proud princess at this point then realized that her faith had been sealed and she was doomed to a life as the wife of a beast and a cave as a home.

She regretted all her actions of the past and prayed for a second chance, but it was too late for her, her pride had caused her, her freedom and luxurious life.

Note this is just Ebira folktale used to scare children back in the days so that they can seize been too proud. And I hope you eventually learn something from it please drop your comments below thanks…

Written By:
Yakubu Binuyaminu Adeiza
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