Two Right Hands
I wrote "Two right hands" sometime in February, 2005 under my nom de plume, Seyade Shobby. It is a novella where time proven wisdom is surreptitiously revealed through the experience of an 8 year old boy. This one begins with a dream. Or was it...
Roy’s sprit, soul and body almost parted ways in fright. On
looking round the room though, he saw nothing. Or at least nothing
that was not there before. He then looked out through the window
and realized that all this while it had been raining. There were a lot
of thunders and lightening which explained the loud bangs.
Roy wiped the sweat off his forehead with his right hand. He
then tried to make himself more comfortable so he could continue
his sleep from where he left off. But he could not do so because no
sooner had he closed his eye before he heard two people arguing. It
was totally unlike his parents to argue aloud, and in any case, the
voices he heard certainly belonged to neither of them. He did not
expect Samson was talking to himself either and he was absolutely
convinced it was not the T.V because it was always switched off
Roy curved his left hands around his ear and turned it
towards the direction the noise seemed to have been coming from.
Something on his left hand brushed against his ear. It felt soft and
somewhat…alive. Roy raised his left hand to see it properly from
the little moonlight that was getting into his room. What he saw
nearly made him lose his mind. His left hand had eyes, ears and a
mouth of its own! Roy opened his mouth to scream but without his
control, his right hand swung up and completely covered his
“Shut up! You are no longer a baby so what is scaring you
stiff?” Roy could not believe his eyes. His left hand had just
spoken to him in a very audible tone.
“Now back to where we stopped.” Roy’s right hand said. Roy
noticed that his right hand also had its own pair of eyes, nose ad a
tiny mouth in the center of its palm.
“By the way” His left hand started, “I’m Leslie”
“Leslie?” Roy asked utterly astonished. “Where on Earth did
you get the name?!!” He had no idea his hands had names of their
“I gave myself the name of course! Or do you have a
problem with that lil’ boy?”
“No” Roy replied assertively. It was enough that every
member of his family saw him as a baby. It could only be worse if
his own hands had the same opinion.
“Good” Leslie said, “Now I won’t have to smack you silly”
Turning to face Roy, his right hand spoke “Oh, just call me Right”
“Right???!” Leslie interrupted before Roy could make a
“You see, that’s the problem I have with you. You always think
you are right. Somewhere in that little head of yours, you are the
perfect one, the flawless soul, the strongest…”
“And who says I am not. You?” Right asked.
“Yes. ME, Leslie. You are nothing but a pain in the ass and an
“What! How dare you?” Right said springing up from his
position beside Roy. He toppled onto Leslie and tried to smother
him. Roy was trying all he could but he really could not do much.
Both hands seemed to have gotten a life and will of their own and
he had little or no control over them.
“Will you two stop squabbling for one second and settle your
differences like civilized people?!” Roy shouted, startling both
hands that immediately let go of each other.
“Now, I want both of you to tell me what exactly the problem
“It’s Right” Leslie was the first to speak. Turning suddenly to Roy,
he pointed his index finger at him and added, “And of course,
“Both of you have conspired to make me look inferior.”
“How” Roy asked.
“How? I’ll tell you how. While you give Right the dignified jobs to
do, you make me do all the dirty things like washing your smelling
butt when you finish using the toilet.”
“But…but” Roy stammered, “I really don’t see the difference
between what you do and what Right does.”
“What do you mean you don’t see the difference? Can you
compare cleaning your butt or picking up dirty things to getting a
warm handshake from Sandra?”
“Which Sandra?” Roy asked urgently
“How many Sandras seat beside you in class, Mr. Mama’s boy?”
“Oh, that Sandra. Anyway, she’s just a friend.”
“Whatever” Right interjected after a long silence. “I see you find
Caroline very pretty, Leslie” He said wriggling his wrist.
“It’s a pity you’ll never get to embrace lovely, lovely
Caroline,” He added, teasing Leslie.
“Hey, you guys are getting me confused here. I thought we were
talking about Sandra just now. Who the hell then is Caroline? I
sure don’t know any Caroline in my…
“Do we have to spell it out to you all the time, Captain
Dumb?” Of the two hands, Leslie obviously had the sharpest and
most insulting tongue.
“Caroline is Sandra’s right hand, ok?”
“Geez! You mean, you mean Sandra’s hands also have names of
their own?” Roy asked again. Leslie simply hissed then continued
“Mind you, that’s not all. Right also gets to convey food into
your mouth, operate the remote control for the electronics, and
receive gifts from your father.”
“But all these are just due to tradition” Roy explained. “For
instance, it will be wrong to receive gifts from my dad with my left
hand, I mean you, Leslie.”
“Tradition my foot”
“Like you have one” Right cut in. “In any case, you are simply
“Stop it. Don’t say such mean things.” Roy said
“As far as I am concerned, every single thing you get to do is more
of a responsibility than a privilege. After all, it might as well have
been the Leslie in your shoes and you in his. You were just lucky
to be the right hand.”
“Fancy you saying a thing like that” Leslie said, surprising
Roy that he appeared to be defending Right.
“Does the name Richard ring a bell to you?” Leslie asked
Roy thought for a second then realized what Leslie was trying to
say. It just occurred to him that this situation was an exact replica
of the scenario between him and Richard earlier in the day.
“Oh, I am so sorry. I promise to apologize to Richard first
thing in the morning.”
“Good” Right said with noncommittal.
“You guys seemed to have forgotten what we were taught at the
last Sunday school in church. We read from…em…”
“1 Corinthians 12:20 to the end.” Leslie said and before
anyone knew it, he started reciting the scripture verbatim.
“But now are there many members yet one body. And the eye
cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee, or the head to the
feet; I have no need of you. Nay much more those members of the
body which seem to be more feeble are necessary. And those
members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon
these we bestow more abundant honour and our uncomely
(unattractive) parts have more abundant comeliness. For our
comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body
together, having given more abundant honour to that part which
lacked. That there should be no Division in the body, but that
members should have the same care for another. And…”
“Alright” Roy interrupted to prevent Leslie from reciting the
“Leslie, I never knew you had such a good memory. Maybe
you should be the one writing my tests for me.” He said.
“C’mon Roy, I too could have easily recited those verses
but…but” Right stuttered
“But what?” Leslie asked smiling.
“But for the fact that I had to flick through the Bible to locate the
chapter and also trace the words with my finger as the teacher read
“I expect you two to have learnt a lesson here. I myself never
really understood that sermon until today. This all goes to say hat
both of you are equally important to me and the different functions
you perform are equally necessary. For instance, if both you had to
feed me, then who would give me water to drink?”
When Roy noticed that they still did not seem totally
convinced, he added, “Right, can you remember the day dad’s
ceramic plate slipped from you?”
“Yes” Right answered soberly
If it weren’t for Leslie who caught it, it would have broken and
then I would be very cross with you.” Leslie’s face lit up when
Roy said this
So you see, there should be no more squabbling or
comparisons among you because as far as I am concerned, you are
both equal to me. Now hug yourselves to show me that you have
resolved your differences.” Leslie grabbed Right and gave him a
long, warm hug. Few minutes later, and they had all slept off.
Footnote: A hard copy of the full book can be ordered on www.lulu.com or you can search for it on google by searching for Two right hands by Seyade Shobby. If still unsuccessful, just send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'd send the free e-book to you.
Don't forget, our official web portal (www.creativenaija.com) would be launching anytime soon. Y'all should watch out for that one. I do this 'cos I believe there's a giant on the insides of each and everyone of us. It's time to let yours out...