There is no telling what the silent duck might be capable of doing in retaliation for the abduction of its young
There was once a quarrel amongst the Warrior Clans of the Okoko badlands. Elite soldiers from one clan, had kidnapped the Chieftain of another clan, and I, the retired leader of the tribe, was contacted to mediate a settlement.
I told the wise old owl, of the clan on the warpath, the one that had taken the rival chieftain as hostage, and a man that I had known before we mutually inhaled the dusts of Okokomaiko, of a tale that I had read as a youth, probably 15 years before, in the Reader’s Digest. It is important that I share the tale once again, particularly with recent events in mind.
A parenting couple of eagles had decided that their trio of fledglings were not only old enough to fly, but that they were old enough to hunt. And in response to their usual demands to be fed, Mama eagle and Papa eagle, sent the trio on their first hunt for food.
A few minutes later, the trio returned. Each had a duckling in its claws, and were quite pleased with themselves and their skills as raptors and lords of the skies. “What said the mother of these ones”? Demanded the mother. “Nothing” they chorused In unison. “You shall return them to whence you picked them” decreed their father. “Find something else to eat” he added for good measure. He wouldn’t listen to their cackling protests.
The trio returned from the hunt with chicks in their grips. “What said the mother of these ones”? Asked the father. “She cursed, ranted and raved, invited thunder and brimstone to strike us dead, she did”. Mama eagle beamed and declared “tuck into your meals children, this are the ones that we shall eat”.
The fledglings were confused and pretty much flummoxed. How to explain living up to the family cognomen of “Awodi je’hun epe san’ra”. The one that feed fat on cursed meals. But father eagle laughed and explained the ways of raptors to his fledglings.
There is no telling what the silent duck might be capable of doing in retaliation for the abduction of its young, and its taciturnity infuses it with mystique, and thus amplifies its powers. Its capacities are enhanced and magnified by its silence. The cacophonous hen on the other hand, had already displayed the extent of its capabilities, and advertised the impotence of its response.
Those that witnessed the Okokomaiko Wars of 1995-97, might find recognizable strands of the origins of that war in my factional recount of that sorry history in this article, but my purpose is to draw attention to the need for men of power, to measure the words that they might speak. A warrior’s silence infuses him with powers that he might never ever be possessed of, but garrulity robs his words of respect. Shakara Oloje!
Oro ki mi, ni’kun agba.