Sometimes it happens that my mind reflects back my `junior’ years. It happens very often, remembering that moment when our learning started through tales of our legendary heroes and tricky-canning animals. Every evening we would assemble around our grandmother’s hearth, it was mandatory for all her grand-children to attend the gathering-, only the sick exempted.
It was amazing how she chose topics based on her daily observations, stories that related well with our behaviors and usually with hidden teaching about life.
Here is one of them…
After the great deluge, Noah released animals from the Ark. It happened that the wolf- Chui and the ram- Marr had became close friends, after being together for along time in the Ark. Their friendship grew much stronger through visitation and working together until the two communities came to relate well and with respect to each other.
One day, the whole wolf community was called for a meeting to discuss a certain matter that pertain their community. It did not take long for Chui to realize the meeting was called because of his relationship with Marr. “We have to stop this imposed friendship with sheep community…...” an elder announced as the whole community cheered in agreement except Chui. He was left wondering why such a decision has been reached by his elders and why the whole community has assented to it. Then another blow came, “………how can we work with our prey? How can we share items and house-hold goods with herbivorous-edible animals? We are carnivorous and that as our way of life, we should not befriend anyone who is not our kind- not even our rivals….”
Chui was occupied in thoughts trying to figure out how to save his friend and family from looming danger, only to catch the conclusion of the elder’s speech. “……….tomorrow we go hunting, and we gonna start with the most docile communities around us…. The sheep,” An elder paused, then he continued “Kill them all, we need food to keep us through this on-coming season of great hunger,”
After the meeting, everyone set off happily chanting to their war songs, praising their leader for wise decisions in ‘dilemma times’. Chui hung his head and walked home disappointed by his elders.
Early the following morning, Chui woke up and headed for his friend’s home.
Chui went straight to his friend to give him first hand information about the wolf-community’s plan to annihilate them. He found Marr having break-fast with his Parents. As usual, Chui was invited to share their meal.
After break-fast, the two friends secluded themselves from the family gathering to have a chat. It was then that Chui broke news to Marr, he told him that was the only way to save him and his family and how he will trick his own community to follow a different route when hunting. They terminated their hobnob and parted ways.
The news was spread like bush-fire in Sheep-community, in no time that they set off for their secret hide-out. They only carried essential needs, leaving their crops in the farm.
The journey was so long and strenuous since they carried heavy loads plus their young-ones on their backs. They covered miles in a single day, tired but kept walking away from danger… through the hills and valleys, wadding through swamps and in plains, passing in thorny bushes and in grassy lands. Finally the elders announced their arrival in their destination.
Starting a new life was the trickiest part they had to out-do in order to settle down and wait for their destiny.
Time went on smoothly, worries died down and happiness resumed in Sheep-community. One day, Chui came to visit his best friend Marr. Elders did not like it but anyway he saved their lives, they only pretended happy to see him, giving him high praises but their inner feelings were tormented with hatred.
It was not just a normal visit but an invitation for Barr to attend a dancing ceremony that marks a bridge to adulthood in Wolf-community. It was not easy for Chui to persuade Barr to attend the party, but he succeeded after promising to hide him in his neck-basket. After confirmation that Barr is certain to attend the party, Chui left for home.
The day came; Barr hid in Chui’s hunting basket and attended the party in secrecy. Time passed on fine until at one moment a small brother to Chui came just close to him and shouted “I can smell something…” he kept sniffing around, “do you smell a presence of a sheep around here?” He asked Chui. Without waiting for an answer, he rushed away in haste, Chui knew it was risky to stay with his friend any longer; he excused himself and parted from the gathering.
He took Barr to a safe place, thanked him for his mighty bravery and let him off. Barr walked away, happy being far away from his greatest foes- the Wolf-community.
Time elapsed; a day drawing nearer and nearer, Barr was determined to give tit-for-tat to his friend. An on-coming most secret initiation ceremony was the only hope to give back an equivalent to his friend’s treat. But how?. It was not easy because the ceremony was only attended by elders and the selected male members. Luckily, Barr was selected. Having an opportunity to invite his friend but still not sure if he will manage to get into Wolf-community without being noticed, he set off for his task. Fortunately, he met Chui on the way to fetch water. After a short conversation, Barr gave Chui an invitation to attend the ceremony before they parted ways in hurry lest they get noticed.
Barr did not have any clue on how the ceremony is conducted, it was hard to guess they way forward or even an inkling of what supposed of the new members. Chui hiding securely in Barr’s harvesting basket. The time came for new members to dance and the best dancer awarded the privilege of being provided for for the whole Sheep-community’s calendar year. That was the minute Barr forgot Chui was in his basket, he danced until the basket gave-in for the weight and tore up exposing Chui’s tail. The worst happened; Chui had to run for his dear life.
Their friendship ended, enmity between the two communities grew to the worst level until the sheep went back to human community for protection, as the wolves stay in the jungle waiting for the day when the sheep will be ousted by humans.