In heaven, Igun (Vulture) was acting as the child of Olodumare. One day, Igun fell ill. He was weak, lean and frail-looking. He went to Olodumare to complain about his state of health. Olodumare asked Igun to proceed into the world and that he would find remedy to his ailment on earth. In the site of this, Igun descended into the world.
On the other hand, Orunmila was on earth. He had two wives living with him. He was poor and none of the wives had delivered any issue to him. It was very difficult for Orunmila to eat once in a day. He and his two wives had no good clothes they could wear. They had no good accommodation to live in. Everything was very tough for them while on earth. He therefore called on his students mentioned above for Ifa consultation. What steps did he need to take to be a successful person in life? What must he do for his two wives to become pregnant and give birth to children?
Orunmila was assured that he would become a very successful man and that his wives would be able to give birth to children in due course. He was informed that he was going to do a great favor for a very important person whom he would not be aware of. They told him further that the person would pay back the good deeds of Orunmila many folds over. Orunmila was then advised to offer sacrifice with five hens, five bottles of palm oil and five new containers. He was to offer one of the hens to Ifa each day for five days as ritual. All the internal organs of each of the hens-intestines, liver, gizzard and so on – were to be removed, put inside one container, pour one bottle of palm oil into it and carried to the shrine of Esu Odara that was the three crossroads each day for the five days. Orunmila complied and did as he was advised.
Meanwhile, when Igun arrived on earth, he landed at the three crossroads near Orunmila’s compound. He met the sacrifice which Orunmila had just placed there. Esu Odara persuaded Igun to eat the sacrifice. Igun did and discovered that his stomach trouble suddenly disappeared. The following day, Orunmila repeated the sacrifice. Igun ate it up and realized that the weakness on his right leg equally disappeared. The third day, he ate the sacrifice Orunmila offered and the ailment on his right forelimb disappeared. On the fourth day, the ailment on his left leg disappeared. On the fifth day, he ate the sacrifice and the ailment on his left forelimb disappeared. Igun became totally well on the fifth day. It was then that he realized that his illness was caused by lack of food. Igun then asked Esu Odara for the identity of the person who had fed him for five days. Esu informed Igun that it was Orunmila.
The following day, Igun went back to heaven and informed Olodumare that he was totally well and that it was through the food supplied by Orunmila that he became well. Olodumare then told Igun that it was not good for Igun to deny himself. He must not skip food again. Igun agreed.
Igun told Olodumare that he (Igun) would like to repay Orunmila for the good deed he had done to him.
Olodumare then gave Igun four gifts – Wealth, Children, Longevity and Patience – to give to Orunmila in order to choose one. Olodumare said that Orunmila must not choose more than one of these gifts and that Igun should return with the remaining three to heaven.
Igun returned to earth and went straight to the house of Orunmila with the four gifts. He thanked Orunmila for the favor he had done to him. That was the first time that Orunmila would know that the sacrifice he offered was responsible for making Igun regain his health. After many pleasantries, Igun told Orunmila that he (Igun) had come to pay him back for his good deeds and that he, Orunmila, was to pick just one of the gifts as instructed by Olodumare.
Orunmila invited his two wives for deliberation. He asked the junior wife what she felt they should pick out of Wealth, Children, Longevity and Patience and the reason why they should prefer it.
The junior wife picked Wealth. When she was asked why, she responded that if he picked Wealth, they would have enough resources to buy good dresses, good furniture and latest materials in town. She also claimed that it would be easy for them to build a new house, buy a new horse and be able to eat and drink whatever they like at any time.
The senior wife was asked to pick one of the four gifts and give reasons for her choice. The senior wife picked children. She claimed that if children were picked, she would be counted among those who had given birth to children in her life. She said further that whenever she died, there would be someone who would give her befitting burial. To her, that was worth more than any other asset and achievement in life.
Orunmila invited his friend to advised him on which choice to make. The friend advised him to pick Longevity. When asked why, the friend responded that if he chose Longevity, he would be able to live longer than any other person on earth. He would be able to narrate stories which no other person could narrate. He would be the most respected person around because of his age.
Orunmila then called on his students to consult Ifa for him the second time. During consultation, Ogbe-Iyonu was also revealed. The students told Orunmila to pick Patience. When asked why, they simply responded that Ifa said that the elder who had Patience had gotten everything.
Orunmila thanked everyone present and picked Patience. Igun then returned to heaven with the remaining gifts. The two wives protested and began to quarrel with Orunmila. The junior wife said that all the good things of life would elude them because Orunmila had made a wrong choice.
The senior wife said that Orunmila should have chosen children because nothing was greater than children. The two wives began to argue. Both of them stood their grounds on their choice. Soon after, a quarrel ensued and began to fight. They fought until they got tired. Whenever the wives complained to Orunmila, he would simply tell them that whoever had Patience had gotten everything.
While in heaven however; Wealth had gotten tired of living in heaven without Patience. It got to a head three months after Wealth went to Olodumare to seek permission to go and live with Patience in Orunmila’s house. Olodumare granted the request. With this Orunmila became Wealthy. He could afford many things and his junior wife became happy.
Three months after this, Children went to Olodumare to seek permission to go and stay with Wealth and Patience. Olodumare granted the request. The two wives became pregnant. The senior wife became very happy. Nine months later, the two wives gave birth to healthy babies.
Three months after, Longevity went to Olodumare and sought permission to go and live with Patience, Wealth and Children on the ground of loneliness. Olodumare granted the request. Orunmila who chose Patience then got Wealth, Children and Longevity as bonuses.
Orunmila and his household thus became happy, wealthy and contented. They were singing and dancing and giving praises to Olodumare for giving them all the IRE of life.
Source: S. Solagbade Popoola