The Tikiti months
Long, long ago, there lived a princess named Sarah, who lived in a castle. Princess Sarah wanted to marry whoever she liked, but her parents didn't agree to this idea. They wanted her to marry a prince.
One day, a prince named Michael came riding through town. He said that he was looking for a princess to marry. Some people directed him to Princess Sarah's castle. At the castle, Prince Michael met Sarah's parents and asked them for permission to marry the princess. The king and queen readily agreed and a wedding was planned. Princess Sarah protested that none of them knew Prince Michael well enough, but her parents' minds were made up. Sarah had no choice but to agree too.
On the day of the wedding the princess behaved in a way that puzzled everybody, but she had a good reason as we will soon learn. The ball-room in Sarah's parents' castle as decoratedd in White.
Prince Michael even dressed in white because his Princess was expected to dress in white. However, when the princess arrived she was dressed in pink, and everyone was surprised. The prince and the princess then chose the colour pink, and the ball-room had to be redecorated in pink, but this time when the princess came, she was dressed in red. Everyone was surprised again.
For the third time, a different colour was chosen, and this time it was red. When the princess arrived this time, she was wearing a purple dress. By this time, it was late and everyone was tired and disappointed that they went back to their homes to sleep, and the wedding was put off till the next day.
The princess changed her dress so many times because she believed that the prince wanted to kill her. She had learned that like her, Michael had been forced by his parents to marry her, when his desire was to marry another princess named Michelle. There was no other princess in the whole kingdom apart from Sarah and Michelle, so he wanted to kill Princess Sarah so that he could marry the only other princess, Michelle.
Before the wedding Sarah knew that Michael wanted to marry Michelle because there were times when he told his parents he was going to Sarah, but instead he went to Michelle. The two princesses had been friends and used to visit each other. One day, on her way to visit her friend Sarah was riding along a path that passed by Michelle's bedroom when she heard the prince and Michelle excitedly planning to kill her.
"Our wedding night is the best time to kill her, because after the ceremony our parents will be so happy they will relax and leave me alone with her;' said Michael.
"Yes," replied Michelle, "that is a good plan.”
With Sarah out of our way your parents will be forced to agree to your marrying me."
On the night of the failed wedding when Princess Sarah was asleep, Prince Michael left his room and crept into Sarah's room. Then he pulled out his knife and killed her. After that he quickly dragged her into his room, went outside and rode on his horse back to his parents' home. The next morning, the queen and king went into Princess Sarah's room to wake her up for the wedding.
When they reached the door, they saw red drops making a trail all the way to Michael's room. They followed the red drops and found Princess Sarah dead in the room, but Michael was nowhere in the castle. Some people said they saw him ride away the previous night. The queen and king were very sad about Sarah's death.
They suspected that Prince Michael had killed the princess, and they were really angry about that. They did not know how to live without their princess, and they suffered pain for many, many years.
Years later, Princess Sarah's parents were happy and proud when her younger brother, Joshua, grew up to be a very handsome prince. But there were no more princesses, so his parents allowed him to marry anyone he wanted. He chose a beautiful young girl named Martha who sold oranges to feed her family.
The wedding was grand and Martha's whole family was invited to attend. Everything went very well and Martha didn't need to change dresses like Princess Sarah did.
The king and queen were so happy with the wedding that they cried and their tears went down into a river and flowed away. In fact, the wedding was so beautiful that it went on for three months. Those months were called the "Tikiti Months." Tikiti in their language means a seed has died and grown into a plant. Sarah's parents wanted the celebration of Joshua's wedding to also be a time to remember Sarah's death, and from that time the whole kingdom celebrated "Tikiti" every year.
The author Marilyn Nanbigne is 11 years old, a class six pupil of the University of Ghana Primary School.