Centuries and centuries ago, there lived a lovely, livid old man in one of the remotest villages on the earth. The name of the village was Mutibao. The old man was fifty plus twenty, plus ten years old. He lived in a small house with his treasured wife whom he would fondly refer to ‘The Queen.’ His three male children had left him twenty years earlier and travelled to a neighbouring kingdom as legionnaires. His seven daughters were married and leading quiet lives within the kingdom. He also had several grandchildren who visited him occasionally to hear him yap one story after another. For he was also good in yapping and yattering.
The neighbourhood was a brew of full-time cutthroats, thieves, muggers and retired mercenaries.
The kingdom that the old man lived in was as expansive as the skies. This made it difficult for the King Nondondo to rule it effectively particularly the far-flung regions like Mutibao. A vacuum of authority and order provided a good environment for crooks, crafty men and criminals to survive, bribe and thrive. The surrounding villages became creepy, cruel, crazy and crappy, resulting in a crisis. They hunted each other in cribs like crocs of the River Nile. And their traditional god Zambu could not help. It appeared that he was entertained by daily and nightly theatrics and theosophy.
The old man was cherished in the whole village for his faculties and facades in equal measure. Contrarily a few regarded him as a wimp. He was not the kind of a man who would wigwag like a pendulum, or teeter like a seesaw. He had a stand and would defend it with chicanery, and without chickening out.
His wife though old was beautiful as the butterflies of Mount Olympus. She was not only soft-spoken but spoke softly too. She had a soft spot for the suffering children of the village. She would gather them in her homestead, make them sing happy songs and giggle as if in a gig. Later she would provide them with groundnuts and cauliflower from her farm.
That was the family of the old man.
In that village, the night brought in the realities of sheer terror and horror. Marauding bands of men roamed around looking for targets to beat and hit. The urgency to commit evil was an emergency at night. They would passively and unknowingly try to outdo each other in the game of thuggery, but not in the game of thrones. The competition to comply with contraventions was problematic but pronounced and cut-throat in nature. They would conduct a rehearsal during the day by knocking over doors and windows in full glare of their parents. They were cheered on by their parents. As the evening knocked on their doors so were the burglars.
This kind of lifestyle was the norm for the villagers. They had learnt to fit in as easily as a hammerhead on its handle. Life had hammered them into a corner, and they were now cornered but unconcerned. Huggermugger was their social fabric. This fabric had strands that were now hanging precariously and failing to cover the whole body. However, nakedness did not bother them. Shame was not in their vocabulary.
The schoolmasters of arithmetic, writing, thinking and public speaking had fled the village to the Kingdom’s capital city for fear of finding themselves rundown.
There lived a young man across the River Leni. His name was Dingdong. He was nicknamed Dung Beetle; for he could accomplish great feats without employing extra strength. He was not numbered among those who broke windows or the doors. But he would skillfully run his mouth until he ran away with whatever he wanted. He was not just skilful but also swift. Very few people, including the old man, knew him and in fact, few had seen him. Despite this, his achievements in the field of trickery were unrivalled. He was now becoming a legend, though not like the legend of the seeker, but almost like Robin Hood. As his fame spread wide so grew his appetite.
One starry night, when the moon had ducked from public view, and the mood was sombre, and the village not sober, Dingdong made his way through the thickets towards the house of the old man. He whistled as he moved. When he was close to the old man’s house, he let out loud laughter that caught the crickets with the surprise for they stopped chirping. The apprehension of the crickets was palpable. Dingdong’s wry was culpable.
He suddenly knocked on the old man’s door and said, “Old man, can you help a son out and provide him with a shelter tonight? I am Bimbo’s nephew.”
“Oh is that so?” asked the old man.
“It is surely.” The young man replied.
“Well then,” remarked the old man, “for an exalted guest of your status, I would offer only the lofty place for you to spend your night.”
The old man stepped out and closed the door behind him and told the young man to follow him. The man curiously followed the old man, and after walking for several hundreds of metres they reached the village temple of Zambu.
The old man turned towards the young man and said, “And what a better place for you to spend the night than at your uncle’s place!”
God covers you in His wings
I cannot remember the days when I tripped into the grave
I cannot recall the times I slipped into the dungeon
I cannot tell the seasons I was stripped naked
I cannot mention the events I pricked myself
I cannot say of the weeks I retreated into oblivion
Brought into the Light
We have been brought into the light. We do not stumble anymore. Out paths shine as the light of the day and we fear no evil. The God of Jacob will protect you all the days of your life.
Imagine the days you were three years! Walking and playing was the rule. You were not run over by a vehicle; you were not decimated by malaria or pneumonia; you were not abandoned by your parents!
Somehow you have grown into an adult. You walk along alleys. You travel along the highways. You drive along the streets. You witness accidents. Perhaps you are a victim. Maybe you missed it by a whisker. You almost ran over a kindergarten child as she crossed the road. But God’s eyes are always on you. To protect you until the appointed time. He will never leave you as you abide in Him.
We live in a wild world but The Almighty has His eyes on us.