Read the Golden Flute 1
The evening was cold.
The lightening lit up the sky.
Threatening to rain.
Pluck…Pluck…Pluck…the drops sang in the water pots. Until the heavens opened its closely kept rain-doors.
Dafe hurried into the hut.
The leaks in the roof had gotten worse. Pulling a few water pots underneath.
He could hear the heavy drops as small rocks.
The winds blew harder almost lifting the entire roof, putting off his little oil lamp.
He got scared and hid under the old wornout bedsheet.
The thunders were as in a gun parade.
As he laid down he watched the drops as they made their way into the pots.
Soon he fell asleep.
The morning routines in the village were predictable. The women left for the market, the men to the farms and boys and girls attend to home keeping.
This day was different. The entire community awoke to the sound of the terrible gong.
Dafe struggled to open his eyes.
It is morning already! he exclaimed.
The gong went off again.
‘Gon Gon Gon Gon Gon Gon’
‘It surprises me how Ekwenta never uses a good sticks to beat the poor instrument’, Dafe complains pulling the sheets over his head.
A lame attempt to cover his ears.
‘Gon Gon Gon
Gon Gon Gon’
….the gong went again as loudly as ever.
Jumping to his feet Dafe said ‘I wonder what this is about’.
Ewenta would practically wake sleeping babies and animals if he had to.
A word from the King required urgency.
Dafe runs towards village.
‘There will be a very urgent meeting at the village square under the Udala tree in the village square’ Ekwenta yelled on top of his voice. He was a natural.
Years of service got him some popularity among the young women. Within his peers, a silent respect.
The villagers would give food and other consumables as kind gestures for his work.
He had a knack for going towards the residents of the well endowed and staying longer there.
Dafe followed Ekwenta’s voice further into the village through the bush.
The village is surrounded by a forest making it easier for him to navigate his path unnoticed.
Fruit snakes and scorpions owned the mornings.
Careful not to tread upon any he waded through the flooded but known tracks.
Ekwenta’s voice was clearer.
Dafe heard the last bit of information.
‘Everyone had to be present’ Ekwenta concluded.
He turned back into forest picking fruits as he went by.
Random thoughts about the meeting harassed his little mind.
He was spilt between going and staying away.
After all, his contention with seeking a safe place to hide was nasty the last time. No guarantees it will be better this time.
‘Up on the trees shall I go. I pray the God of my mother keeps me away from the village thugs’ speaking loudly to himself.
The successive in-take of fallen mangoes and african walnuts from the tall trees lighten his countenance.
The natural bliss of the community. The fruitful trees and luscious vegetables.
Soon his stomach was full.
It was time for the traps. He knows a single success will do his soul good.
Alas, the rabbits, wild goats and guinea pigs fell victims today.
The rains of the previous day blessed the hunters and damned the hunted.
Later in the day the hunters would come for collection and happily lay more traps.
Soon it was dusk….he almost forgot about the meeting.
The hunters would gather at their favorite spot in the bush to roast some meat for themselves.
He would lean on the corner of an adjacent tree waiting patiently for them to bid him over for his portion. A reward worth waiting for.
Were it not for his enlarged ears eavesdropping into their conversation, he would have forgotten about the appointment at dusk. The men spoke about the Eze’s announcement. Each man give their take on the rumours they heard from the palace guards and market women.
Their chitchats were over. The men of the forests called it a day.
The local guns were unloaded. The catch of each person close by and watched over by Dafe.
The whistling got his attention. It was the permission he had been waiting for.
No words meant no offense, a justification for the signals and whistling gestures to avoid the King’s wrath.
Treated worse than the hunting dogs, Dafe cared less of what the men did as long as the belly was comforted.
He gave Dafe his venison and off went every man his way.
To Be Continued…..