Far in the forest town of Bana, lived a young farmer. His name was Tiah Ponnie, a widower. Before the death of his wife, she bore him one fine girl child. The two of them lived together happily. The people of Bana were mostly farmers. Ponnie was a farmer of rice, cocoa, plantains, and sugar cane. Besides, he loves setting traps both on land and in the rivers and creeks.
Few miles from Bana, was a hill which was covered by a very thick rain forest. The forest was very thick and dark with giant trees like pulp, eke, lovoa, and many others. Its soil was very rich. It was so fertile that if a seed fell on it, it would grow in a day’s time. Even if you would stick your finger into the soil, it would grow roots. Apart from the soil being rich, it was a dwelling place of a giant monster referred to as the gina and many other fearful dwarfs. The gina lived in a very big cave at the foot of the hill. The gina was not only feared by the people of Bana but beyond. He could cause rain, storm, or thunder any time of the day or night. It was widely believed that if any one made farm on the monster’s hill, he or she may lose his or her life and crops. It was said that the monster had the power to make crops grow or wither. The monster could cause calamity to befall anyone from one generation to the other who would expose him to the sun by brushing down the thick forest. This belief was upheld for many, many years so there was no thought of some one challenging such belief. It was dreaded also.
At the beginning of the farming season, Tiah Ponnie decided to farm on the hill. This was in defiance to the advice of the people of Bana. One by one they said to him;
‘Ponnie, please do not farm on that hill. It is forbidden. For many years, our fathers did not make farm there.’ But Ponnie did not listen to the people’s advice. He always replied:
‘I am a man for myself who can make decision. No body has the right to tell me where to make farm and where not to make farm.’ Over and over they advised Ponnie not to go ahead with his plans, but Ponnie did not agree. As a result, the people decided to stop and let Ponnie have his own way.
One fine morning when most of the people were going to engage their farms, Tiah Ponnie arose to the dreaded hill to begin his work. He sharpened his working tools, packed them in a long basket and walked into the forbidden forest. His tools were sharper than a razor blade.
Tiah Ponnie worked not very hard on the first day. Nothing happened to him on the first day. The second day came. He went back and worked very hard till evening. Again he did not experience any trouble, then he began to mock in his heart at those who advised him against farming on the hill.
‘I thought they said a devil lived here and would eat me up the moment I chop a shrub here.’ This was what he said to himself repeatedly and laughed softly.
On the third day of work, Ponnie returned to his farm. He was surprised that his farm was brushed to completion. Though surprised, Ponnie was happy inside that the first part of his work was completed in just three days. It was a large area even larger than ten playing fields put together. He began to thank God for his work.