About the author
Imuetinyan Ugiagbe writes: "Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, I never learned to read as a child because I was born with cataracts, which is a clouding of the lens in the eyes. My mother knew something wasn’t right with my vision when I was just three months old. She could tell that my eyes lacked focus and shared her concerns with my father, but he dismissed the problem by saying I was just coming into the world and should be left alone. Unable to read, I found solace in listening to stories. I looked forward to those cool nights when the lights went out and the children in the neighborhood would stroll down to my compound to listen to the tales told by my uncles, aunts, and neighbors. The morals of these stories were what gave color and brightness to my dull world. I learned about kindness, respect, goodness, compassion, selfishness, gratitude, and jealousy. Also, the characters, which were often animals with human qualities, were either physically impaired, orphaned, and/or neglected. What always intrigued me about the plots was that tragic circumstances often became extraordinary victories by the end of the tale. The process of how the main characters overcame their obstacles gave me comfort as a little girl.