In the town of Trail there once lived a couple named Kicky and Okay. Every meal time they quarreled over the chore of washing the dishes. Okay would scold Kicky if he refused to wash the dishes. Sometimes she would become angry and call him names, and if he talked back she would get her coconut midrib broom and chase him with it. He would run to the house of his 'Compare' and hide there till his wife's anger had passed. One day Just as they were finishing their lunch, Kicky announced..
Kicky: I am not going to wash the dishes any more. He threw out his Hess and lifted his chin. Okay: Why say so? Holding up her chin higher. Kicky: I say so, I worked hard in the field this morning. I am not going to wash any dishes. Okay: Okay stood up and, with her arms akimbo, she glared down at Kicky across the table. Narrator: Her arms were stout. She was a small and terrible woman. Okay: Her voice was also big. And who, Mister Hugo, is going to wash these dishes? She asked. Narrator: Kiosks chest sank again. He held on the edge of the table nervously. Read also “Too Soon a Woman” Dorothy M. Johnson.
Kicky: You, he said in a much lower tone. You are the woman. You should do all the housework. Okay: And what do you do? You tie the carbon to the reeds in the field and then you lie down on the grass to watch it graze. You call that hard work? I cook, clean the house, wash your clothes; scrub the floor, I do all the work that only slaves do. And yet, you even refuse to help me wash the plate from which you have eaten? Narrator: Kayaks voice was now raised too high pitch and her tears poised on her eyelids ready to pour down. Okay: She looked at Kicky and her broom.
She grabbed the broom. She raised the broom to strike him, crying, You, you lazy man! Kicky: Kicky ducked under the table. Don't! He cried. Don't strike me! Okay: Come out from under the table, you coward, ordered Okay Kicky: Wait, don't strike me. Listen,. I got a plan that should decide who should wash the dishes. He still crouched under the table. Okay: Come out of there. Come out and speak like a man, not mew like a cat under the table, Kicky: Lay down your broom Okay: All right, all right. Come out. Kicky : Kicky returned to his seat opposite her at the table.
Okay: What have you to Kicky: Let's stop quarreling over the plates. Let us have a wager. The first one of us who will lakes after I have said the word "begin" will wash the dishes. Always. Okay: Only that? The first one who talks will always wash the plates, and bowls, and pots and pans. Always? Kicky: Right. If you even say Just one word to me, or to anybody, or to anything, after I had said "begin", you will always wash the dishes. Okay: That's easy. I can keep my mouth shut even for a week. You cannot. You even talk to your carbon. Kicky: All right. Are you ready?
Narrator: Okay sat upright in front of him across the table. She nodded her head, compressed her lips, and Kicky said.. Kicky: Begin! Narrator: They both fell silent. They sat at the table looking at each other across the unwashed plates and bowls and spoons. They did not like to leave each other for fear that one would talk to himself without other's hearing. They sat there Just staring. Soon the cat began to meow its food. Neither Okay nor Kicky paid any attention to its mowing. The cat Jumped upon the drying dishes to lick the left-oversees. Okay did not drive it away, neither did Kicky.
The cat licked the plates, Jumped to the stove to lick the pot and pan on it, over turned a kettle. Kicky pretended that nothing happened. He continued to sit still, and so did Okay. Soon it was getting late in the afternoon but hey went on sitting mutely at the lunch table. Their eyes were tired down staring hard at each other. Neighbor: A neighbor called, "Sister Kayak! ", "Stepsister! ". Narrator: Okay did not answer. Neighbor: The neighbor called again, "Sister Okay, Sister Kooky! May I borrow your mascara? I have to finish pa my makeup eh Narrator: Okay did not answer.
Kicky looked at her silently Neighbor: Ay? Perhaps no one's home. Narrator: They heard the neighbor say to himself. Neighbor: But why did they leave their ladder at the door? They usually remove the ladder when they go away. Well, I will Just go up, get the makeup and return it later. The neighbor went up. When the neighbor went up the bamboo ladder he was surprised to see Okay and Kicky sitting silently at the table where plates had dried with left-oversees. He hurried towards them Oh my gully!! What happened to you Kicky?? , what happened? He asked Kicky Narrator: Kicky neither moved nor talked.
Neighbor: The neighbor repeated his question: What happened to you "Compare"? He took Kiosks shoulders. Narrator: Kicky let him shake him, closing his lips lighter. Neighbor: The neighbor turned to Okay. Speak Steroidal what happened? She shook her shoulders, too. Narrator: She pushed him roughly aside but did not speak. Neighbor: Ay edema Lang nag peg?! So you won't make me pans?! Did you eat something poisonous? Some food that has made you dumb? She shook each one alternately. But still neither stood up or talked. Narrator: The neighbor was alarmed.
She did not get the make up but ran out of the house to the rest of the neighbors. She told them that something terrible had happened to Kicky and Okay. "Oh my gee, something terrible happened to Sister Okay and Kicky! They didn't make me pans while ago. " The neighbors gathered at Kiosks dining room. Man 1: They took turns trying to make them speak. Man 2: But the two continued to sit staring at each other in silence. Woman 1: Okay looked at her husband threateningly for a moment then closed her eyes. Narrator: Okay knew that she did so to avoid at the neighbors.
Neighbor: He also closed his eyes and ignored everyone who had come up to his house. Narrator: Okay was very angry with her "Comparer's" interference but she dared not to speak her mind. She pretended to be asleep. Neighbor: *Gets phone and call the herb man. "Hello Herb- an, I think some bad spirit made Sinai to Kicky and Okay, can you please go her e now an? Narrator: The herb-man came to the village. Herb-man: and when he saw the motionless, silent husband and wife sitting at the table ,he declared that they were bewitched. He spread a woven burr mat in the salsa and asked "bewitched" couple lie down.
Man 1: Kicky obediently lay down and closed his eyes. Woman 2: He curled up and went to sleep. Man 2: But Okay refused to get up from where she sat at the dining table. Herb- man: The herb-man said, Ah, the spirit which has taken possession of her is very stubborn. I must break its spell. Narrator: He then produced from a small bag which he always carried, Woman 2: nine Pisces of betel leaf Woman 3: a piece of race nut Woman 1: a little lime from a tiny bone. Herb-man: He examined the leaves closely to choose those which had veins running in identical arrangements on each side of them midrib.
Neighbor: He cut the nut into nine pieces. Man 2: He spread a little lime on each betel leaf, rolled them Man 1: and wrapped them around each piece of race nut. All: He now had nine rings of the leaves Herb-man: This represents the lost spirit of the couple, he said. He chewed the leaf ND nut. Woman 1: When he had chewed it, Neighbor: He spat on his palm Herb-man: dipped a forefinger of the other hand into the nut-colored saliva and marked with it across on the forehead of Kicky... Man 2: Kicky did not seem to feel the old man's fingers on his forehead Herb-man: and Okay.
Woman 3: Okay caught the man's finger and twisted it. Narrator: The old herb "doctor" cried Herb-man: Array! Neighbor: and pulled back her hand Herb-man: He moved toward Kicky who was lying down, calling his name and slowly several times, Come Kicky. Come back, Kicky! Herb-man: Come Okay... Come home to your body now... Come Okay, chanted the old man. Okay did not answer. Narrator: Evening fall on the frightened village, frightened because the herb "doctor" said that the spell might be cast on some other villagers besides Kicky and Okay. He called to the bewitched couple softly at first...
Herb-man: Come Kicky Come Okay... Narrator: ... And then louder Herb-man: Come Kicky Come Okay All: But still they did not move. Woman 2: Okay soon became tired so she reclined against the bamboo chair. Narrator: The old herb-man said Herb-man: This is the first witchery of its kind that I have met here. By their silence I live that they are dead. Their spirits, driven away by the witch, have left their bodies. The only thing to do now in order to keep their souls in peace and to prevent this witchcraft from spreading among us is to bury them.
Narrator: The herb-man ordered some of the men to look for bamboos to make two coffins immediately. In no time, the two coffins made of bamboos ,hurriedly tied together were finished. Woman 1: The women began to weep for Okay. Woman 2: She leaned rigidly against the back of her chair, Woman 3: and shut her lips tight. Narrator: The herb-man asked the men gathered around to lift the couple into their offing. Herb-man: We shall bury them at sunrise. Some of us have to stay to keep the wake for the dead, he said.
Narrator: The men easily lifted Kicky and placed him inside his coffin. Surely, Kicky said to himself, he would win the bet. He would not be afraid of being buried. He would Just get out of the grave when the neighbors were gone. He thought everything going on was great fun and he was enjoying himself. How he would frighten them all when he returned from his gravel. Herb-man: The herb-man approached Kicky Narrator: Although her eyes were closed she had been listening to his directions She as afraid that he would surely force her into her coffin if she did not tell him to go away.
But she did not like to talk. She hoped her husband would object to the men's lifting of her into the coffin. Surely Kicky will not let her buried tomorrow. She is afraid to sleep in that coffin tonight. No, I will not let them lift me into it, she said to herself. But she did not hear Kicky speak. Woman 2: She opened her eyes Just as the herb-man, aided by two other men, put his arms around her to lift her up from her chair. Okay: Aka Malden pushed the men, go to her feet and shouted, Don't touch e! Get out! Get out of my house!
Shame on you for coming here, MGM peacemaker, MGM peacemaker!! Narrator: Kicky leaped to his feet. Kicky: He also shouted, You talked first! He Jumped about clapping his hands and saying to the astonished neighbors, She talked first. We have a bet. Now, she will always wash the dishes! Okay: Okay lifted the lid of Kiosks coffin to strike his head Kicky: but he ran out with his neighbors, still shouting happily and saying, Narrator: I won. I knew I would win! Now I will never wash the dishes. Kicky won the bet and Okay was left to wash the dishes.