Saturday, September 27, 2008

Short Story: Hair by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Hair by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a fairy tale published in Guardian.

Hair by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

"The mother cried every day. The father had signed the agreement one afternoon after drinking a whole carton of Guinness at the club, after his friend Lugardson proposed a game of cards and wrote out the agreement that said whoever won would take over the other's property and added that it was a joke of course and not at all legal. And so the father signed it and then lost the game. Lugardson took the agreement to court and the judge was Lugardson's crony and he ruled that the father had truly signed away all that he owned. His company. His homes. His cars."

After the father lost it all, they had nothing. Their friends deserted them. The mother despaired. She had no money to do up her hair, uncurl it, burnish it and straighten it. The daughter too saw her real hair for the first time, and was amazed by it.

".....watched in wonder as it grew back, soft and dense like wool, for she had never seen her natural hair. In their old life, as soon as her hair grew out, it had been singed and straightened. Now it was vibrant and kinky and full. She did not comb it but lovingly untangled it every morning with her fingers."

It saddened the daughter to see the state of her family. She wanted their former glory to be restore. One day she felt her hair talking telling her the "the agreement is in Lugardson's air conditioner." The daughter did not believe her hair speaking out but the voice in her persisted. At the behest o that voice, she went an stole bak that agreement taking it to a uncorrupt judge. At last their former glory was restored. Lugardson was punished.

This fairy tale has an expected happy ending. The daughter can be assumed to be the priness here and her fairy Godmother is her natural hair.