Back in the center of Ekule, one of the most incredible villages of the Batang empire in Africa, Suzie released her breath. She had escaped from the unknown.
She continued her walk home where her grandmother had long been waiting for her to prepare the mushroom soup.
"Hi, big momma!" Suzie said as she was getting inside the house.
"I am back home." She pursued while heading to the kitchen. She laid the basket of mushrooms in the sink.
"Where have you been, you little blighter?" Suzie's grandmother asked her upset.
"Big momma, I am sorry!" Suzie mumbled while rushing to hug the old lady in an attempt to calm her down.
"Today there were so many mushrooms across the forest. I had to make sure I took home as many as possible. I also had to be very selective so I could bring the healthiest ones for your preferred soup." She explained.
"Hmmm, now you are flattering me. You know every time how to appease me, especially when you bring at home my favorite chow." Grandma answered back in a mild tone of voice.
Suzie returned to the kitchen. She removed the mushrooms from the basket and placed them in a pot. She opened the tap to get some water, then tidied the white Buttons up.
And then…! The memory of what had happened in the woods popped up.
"Big momma, let me tell you the strange thing that occurred when I was in Ekule's forest!" Suzie declared to her grandmother sitting on the rattan chair in the parlor.
The sexagenarian who was airing herself with a floral folding hand fan glanced in the direction of her granddaughter and uttered "You again with your stories, what's up this time, little tattletale?"
"No big momma, it is not the usual gossip about the people in the village." Suzie contradicted her.
"I was stalked by a man in the forest. It seemed like he was a lumberjack but I did not have time to check." She asserted.
"What? What am I hearing here?" Grandma expressed herself, astonished.
"Who is this impertinent individual who endeavored to harm my precious angel?" She doubled down.
"No big momma, I was not hurt. I was just unpleasantly surprised at his sight. I thought I was in the woods all by myself." Suzie described to her infuriated nanny.
"Whatever! This should not repeat." Big momma reacted, firmly sweeping away her little daughter's euphemism.
Suzie whisted and resumed the cooking of mushrooms. She poured the pot's dirty water into the sink and grabbed a fresh one from the tap.
She salted the white Buttons, then added chopped parsley, minced onions, and ground garlic. Finally, she laid the pot of mushrooms on the firewood that was gently burning down.
Half an hour later, grandma started smelling the delicious aromas of her forever-loved dish.
"Hmmm, Suzie, you are making me salivate already. How long is it going to take before you serve me?" Big momma asked impatiently.
"Just ten more minutes to simmer the soup a bit and it's ready." The granddaughter answered smiling.
"Alright! But be fast! I am starving now." Grandma told her.
Ten minutes later the mushroom soup was ready. Its perfumed odor had spread all over the chalet. Suzie put a fair portion in big momma's assigned plate and brought it to the dining room.
"Dinner is served!" Suzie yelled. Big momma jumped out from the rattan chair and hastened to the eating table. She pulled her Windsor seat and sat.
"Yummy! Once again you have nailed it my dear darling. I am savoring it." The elderly woman praised.
"Thank you, big momma! But now it's time for me to have some rest. I had a fastidious day." Suzie responded, then climbed upstairs to go to her bedroom.