ACHIKE TELLS A STORY
‘Yokung, why did you report him to the king when you know he is an orphan, couldn’t you have pardoned him?’ Rata enquired. ‘It doesn’t matter how many times he comes there or what he comes to do. You know he has no place to go.’ he added, ‘your father could have taken him in and fed him daily so that in return, he could help him on his large farms.’
‘Will you shut your mouth before I report you to the king?’ enquired Yokung.
Rata wept shortly and he could see that everybody sympathized with him. It was a very worrisome day. Some still believed that Gasad was innocent. After all, if he was innocent he would prove it. They thought.
Six years ago, the priest of the land told them that there was going to be cannibalism on the land. It was a divination he received. King Zuma being a tyrant ruler was a bad omen. He encouraged outrageous sexual practices including same sex partners at that time. He married all the beautiful women on the land although there were several unmarried men.
If they had lived in a land all this while and there had never been a divination about cannibalism then it was unfortunate they received it during King Zuma’s tenure of office. Another possible cause of that divination was because king Zuma used to collect fifty percent of the yield of Maalo as royalties. The king was very powerful and they believed he may have cursed the people of Zidi Island.
They met in the palace and deliberated on the issue. They realized it was essential they found solution to it; perhaps to find out whether it was revocable. The people gave their concerns about the issue. They had varying ideas; some believed it was something they could revoke while others argued strongly that they couldn’t revoke it.
‘I understand your plea, however I shall think about it.’ said king Zuma. ‘I met the president of the council of elders last night, and he told me he was going to be in this meeting, why is he absent?’ he asked.‘Does anybody here have any information about his where about?’
The president of the council of elders was already at the door so he went in and began giving his apologies.
‘My king I am sorry, please forgive me.’ he pleaded. ‘I was with the wise man. And he told me what concern all of us.’
It was a very long conversation. The president of the council of elders was not involved in that long conversation since he was late and didn’t know what they were talking about. The conversation continued, and members of the council of elders manifested their worries about that sad divination.
‘From what you said I can see the picture you are trying to paint.’ said king Zuma. ‘Don’t worry; it is my responsibility to protect the people.’ he continued, ‘However I should find out whether the president of the council of elders has brought some news from the wise man.’ The president of the council of elders stood on his feet. It had been like that. Anybody who was speaking to the king ought to stand on his feet.
‘I brought a bundle of news from him.’ he replied, cleared his throat and then continued, ‘however, it is bad news that none of you would like to hear.’The hearts of the elders trembled with fear. What bad news is it? They thought. They cleared the wax in their ears and listened with rapt attention. ‘He said I should remind you about the divination; the period of cannibalism he told us about is almost in Zidi.’ he added.
‘Uh uh,’ said the elders. They were petrified. They had been told about cannibalism before. It was a time life was a matter of survival of the fittest. Sadness descended upon them in the palace. They wondered how life was going to be. The sadness that descended upon them brought a very long silence in the palace. Just then king Zuma broke the silence.
‘I think I should meet the president indoors.’ he said, ‘I therefore ask that you should go home. I shall send for you when I need you.’ All members of the council of elders left except the president. He saw part of the sadness that descended upon them on king Zuma’s face. He realized that king Zuma was really sad.
‘I know he told you so many things pertaining to this cannibalism.’ he said. ‘He might have told you what would precede this terrible event.’ he added, ‘there is one thing I would like you to do for me.’
‘What possibly could it be?’ the president enquired.
‘I need a document that will contain all that he told you pertaining to this cannibalism that will soon be with us.’ he added, ‘I need an account of what would precede this event and what will happen after it.’
‘My king, who am I to refuse your request?’ he asked. ‘I shall provide you the document tomorrow before nightfall.’
‘You may leave.’ said king Zuma.
To be continued..................
Source: The Author/ ABU ABDUL-GANIYU