These tales were related to me at different intervals by Sherubawon Adesina as we discussed matters mundane and Nigeriana. We share a common burden for our country Nigeria, and are both incurable believers in its awesome potentialities. But that is not the story I wish to tell, and not one of the ones that he had told me.
There was once a frog living in the marshlands, and being a juvenile, it lived with the parents and the larger family. Thing is, there were herds of buffaloes that roamed the marsh, and as they would trample by whilst they grazed, the frogs would hush up and cease croaking. Quiet as mouse they’d stay, until the buffaloes would be done and strut away. And it was only then, that any would croak.
“Why are we quiet whilst they eat?” little froggie asked his dad. Daddy croaked excuses and hedged without making sense. Little froggie could smell the bull.
Days passed and everyone were croaking away happily, and then along came the stomping herd of the buffaloes to graze on the freshly grown grass. The marshland went silent as the frogs behaved as they have always done. At least it was quiet until you could hear him, as the buffaloes settled down to eat. Little froggie croaked and croaked, sang the solo and then the choruses, froggie had the time of his life.
Watched by all in shock and awe, and with the buffaloes grazing away unfazed, little froggie earned his legend in his youth. “Why would you do that, why would you be so reckless!?” the parents and the family demanded. “It is in my nature to croak” was his response.
Fulfill the purpose for your life.
Balogun Ogunmola had just been advised to make a human sacrifice before heading to the war front. The man to be sacrificed was to pray for the success of the war efforts, and the safe return of the war party, and it is at the conclusion of these prayers, that he would be beheaded.
The slave to be sacrificed was selected, and the sacrificial calabash was placed on his head. But iro ni oh! This sacrificial lamb had no prayers to offer Ogunmola and his warriors, he instead began to rain curses backed up by incantations, demanding that Olodumare and all the heavenly forces shall be his witness as he was unhappy at being deprived of his life.
Abomination! Yelled Ogunmola, this one cannot be the sacrifice. Ebo would have spoilt and bajeed before it was even commenced. The garrulous protests of the intended sacrificial lamb, saved his life. When will you open your eyes and your mouth?
I did tell you it is a bag of mixed metaphors this morning now, didn’t I? But I truly hope, that the mixed metaphors are not lost on the Nigerian middling classes.
The silence of the lamb explains its slaughter.
Published 17 April, 2020.