A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

  << BACK TO ISSUE   
Okeke's Revenge
By C.I.D. Oguagha
In the ancient world, the Animal Nation was ruled by a class of the strongest individuals. No-one in the kingdom could match the Leopard, revered for his unmatchable agility yet dreaded for his brinkmanship. Although he was not the strongest of the strong, he was certainly the most popular.

One day, the Leopard found himself in the middle of a dispute with Okeke the Dove over farmland. The Council of Elders and fellow citizens were called on to determine the rightful owner, but to no avail. Both the Leopard and the Dove flatly refused the advice to split it in two. Both claimed the land by right of inheritance. The Leopard fumed and finally swore under his breath to beat the law and kill Okeke, The Dove. After all who would avenge his death? He has neither kith nor kin, and his kids are too little.

Some of the animals could not understand why petite Okeke the Dove, would risk his life and that of his family for an ordinary piece of land which was there before he was born and would surely abide after he died. Everyone knew the Leopard could be bad over issues like this.

Okeke the Dove, on his part, could not understand why people should not fight for their rights. Everyone knew his family had been cultivating that land from time. Since when had it changed to belong to the Leopard family? It would be cowardice to surrender his ancestral farmland.

A few days later the Dove disappeared forever.

Pard moved into the farmland and built his estate and had nine sons.

The three sons of the Dove grew up asking their mother about their Dad's death. Fearing for the welfare of her sons, Mrs. Okeke refused to tell her sons what had happened. She knew that when children learn too young of their fathers tragedy, the child becomes the next victim. When her sons passed a series of tests she devised to test their maturity, Mrs. Okeke-Dove, through the tears and sweat of years of intense suffering witting her cheeks, said The Leopard killed your father, and occupied your inheritance. But leave that to God to judge, for Leopard and sons are too strong for us.

The Doves grieved, and they secretly decided to revenge their father's death. They practiced marksmanship until one midnight, they ambushed the choicest rooster Leopard kept for his personal god, slaughtered it and scattered its white feathers and blood over his compound. They took up sniper positions in his orange trees.

At dawn, Leopard sent his last son to fetch him a cup of herbal water. Immediately the son cried: "Who has slaughtered my fathers sacrificial cock! Who dares my father!" One of the Doves replied: "Okeke the Dove's kid is mourning! Mourning his father the Pard killed!" He then discharged his gun killing the youngest son. This repeated until the Leopard's entire family was wiped out. After Leopardess also failed to return with the cup of water, Leopard paced out to teach his whole family a lesson they would never forget.

Instead, he met a compound littered with corpses of his family, and the carcass of his sacrificial rooster. Leopard broke down with humiliation and wept. The Doves first shot hit his left hand. The second got his right arm. He slumped in time for the third Doves bullet to crack his forehead. Their revenge complete, the Doves slung their guns over their shoulders and pranced home. The feet that have done evil, their mom always said, do not tarry.
<< BACK TO ISSUE