GrandMa’s storytelling time is a piece recounting some of the beautiful village moments with grandparents.
Grandma’s stories and sweet food were some of the things that kept us awake late at night in the village during our younger days. How sweet these days were.
Back then in the late-90s, we used to enjoy some of the olden day stories grandma told us for us to have an understanding of why the world is the way it is today.
So, after our family evening meals at about 7 pm, we quickly rushed to the room to bring our loin cloths, what we used to protect ourselves from the cold. We put our chairs around her and listened to her talk.
Little Eduke was about 4years old by then. Then grandma would ask us if we have closed the doors, windows and made sure the younger ones, one and two years old are sleeping. Every one of us paid much attention to her because her stories were very interesting.
We didn’t have tv sets in the village then. Our sources of entertainment were ourselves. It was either we were playing “Mbolo-mbolo” outside or we were listening to a story.
At this moment, you don’t want even the smallest mosquito to distract you or mommy to send you. If there was a way we could pause grandma not to say anything until we came back from mommy’s errands eerr, we could have done so.
And there, there was this day we sat around her and she asked us if we knew why people die in the world today. Our answer was no. Obviously, there was a story around it.
“Ok. Let me tell you a story of why people die.”
“Back in the days of old, people used to live forever. There was no death on earth.
An argument broke out in a village one day amongst domestic and wild animals. At that time, all animals were living happily in one village. There was no differentiation between the wild and the domestic. They ate, bathed, danced and slept together.
What was the argument about?
The domestic animals were for the fact that nobody on earth should die. People should keep multiplying with no one leaving.
The wild animals, on the other hand, did not support this. They knew the earth will get saturated someday and there will be no space for people to live, there will be food shortage and resources will be scarce.
So, after a few days of heated arguments, the monkey finally brought the idea of each motion sending a representative to God. It was agreed that whoever reached God first and told him their request, it will be granted.
It was time for the teams to choose their errand person. The domestic animals quickly chose the dog since it is a fast runner. Yaaaaay! everyone was happy. The dog was very excited to be chosen for such a mission. It wagged its tailed left and right, panted from north to south, east to west and jumped up four times. It knew it was the man. After all, there was no other faster runner like him.
On the other side, there were no volunteers. Everyone was intimidated by the confidence of the dog. However, the king of the forest, the, knowing who the tortoise was, very cunning, chose it to represent the wild animals at the race. Everyone burst into laughter. Of course, the tortoise was a very slow animal. A comparison between it and the dog was like day and night in terms of speed.
However, the tortoise was still chosen to represent. It didn’t bother. The race was to take place the following day. Mr Tortoise went home and did all the necessary preparations. Went to the toilet, emptied his bowels, cooked his beautiful meal for breakfast and had a good rest. Mr Dog, he had won already Nah, so no need to prepare.
When they gathered the next day at the village square, the two racers were brought on the starting line and Mr Monkey said;
‘On your marks, get set, go!’ Booomm, the race started. Remember their mission is to go and tell God their motions concerning the death issue in the world. The first to tell God is the winner and their request will be granted.
Before the tortoise could move a step, the dog was already miles away. Massaa! The domestic animals we’re very excited. They cheered the dog as he ran and promised him heaven and earth if he came back successfully.
You could hear the wild animals grumbling as per the choice of their errand man. Nevertheless, the lion gave them hope and asked them to respect and trust his choice.
Being who he is, the tortoise took his time, walked majestically with care. But do you know he still came first in the race?
Why the Tortoise came first in the race
After running for almost 45 minutes, the dog got tired. Fortunately for him, he met some villagers at a palm oil mill. He helped himself with some of the oil.
“Dog lick oil soteeeyy ei weak. Sleep carry ei go. Ei want go discover ei self na right for evening whey day don start dark.”
While the dog fell asleep the tortoise came and passed quietly, went to God and told him.
“Dear God, we the animals in the entire animal kingdom have sat and concluded that there should be death on earth. If not, it will be so saturated that there won’t be enough space for everyone. It is true we do not like losing loved ones but if we do not do this, there will come a time when we won’t live comfortably.”
God answered and told Mr Tortoise that so shall it be as he has said. Remember God answers just the first request.
Mr Tortoise took to his heels back to the village. When he reached the sleeping point of the dog again, Mr Dog woke up. Immediately the Tortoise saw the dog waking, he pretended as if he was instead going to see God. The dog woke and passed him with speed not knowing that the Tortoise was on his way back.
Before Mr Dog could reach God, the Tortoise was already in the village. The wild animals were all jubilating and cheering Mr Tortoise. And the lion was like;
“… I told you guys, I know who I sent to go and represent us. He never fails. He takes it either by hook or by crook…”
When Mr Dog reached God, God said He already had another request and he listens and acts only on the first. Mr Dog went back very disappointed and so was all domestic animals.
That was how the divide started in the kingdom. Since the race brought disparity, each group had to look for their own place to settle.
Do not judge a book by its cover
We would have been mistaken if we all just assumed the dog will come before the tortoise
Give everyone a chance to prove themselves.
We are told the king of the Forest, Lion gave the tortoise the chance to go represent them despite everyone knew he was a slow walker. He has proven them wrong.
Focus on your tasks and forget about distractions.
Like the dog, we have lots of distractions around, those that take our minds away from achieving our dreams. If only we can shun them and focus on our work, we will have less to think about.
Before grandma could finish this story, some of us were already hitting our heads on the wall. After. Playing the whole day, it was normal for us to get tired and fall asleep easily.
Thank you for reading again today. Which story did your grandparents tell you? Tell us in the comments section.
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