Saturday, 25 August 2007

The Triumph of the Vulture(A Short Story)

By Bonka Archie

The kingdom of Agbado lies in the central part of Africa. Dense with tropical forest and abundance of natural resources including fertile land.

During the reign of king Agbakpa, his charismatic, wisdom and hard working motivated the whole people of the kingdom to be highly efficient. For example, by making use of the abundance in fertile lands and natural resources wisely. As a result of this, the kingdom became more prosperous among other kingdoms around and beyond its territory.

With this prosperity, there came an influx of non Agbado indigenous both from the northern and the southern kingdoms beyond its territory. Mostly artisans such as blacksmiths, goldsmiths, woodcarvers, bras smiths, soothsayers e.t.c.

King Agbakpa took an advantage of this influx by taxing non Agbado indigenous higher than the Agbados, making the kingdom more prosperous. Population also increased dramatically, and with this came the negative impact of the prosperity.

The deterioration of the forest was alarming as the scarcity of natural plants for medicines began to creep into the whole kingdom including the extinction in great numbers of dead carcases - the vulture. In the case of the vulture, it was rumoured that whenever one eats cooked vulture meat this will ward off witches and wizards in harming you.

Sensing the danger his kingdom is heading towards, king Agbakpa summoned his wise men - elders, herbal priests, chiefs to his palace to discuss this fatal issues and to warn the citizens of the dangers that will befall them if they don't refrain from their attitude.

King Agbakpa's message was delivered throughout the whole kingdom holding durbars with sub chiefs and elders but this fell on deaf ears since the citizens didn't want to part with their newly found wealth which had fueled greediness.

Unfortunate for the kingdom, a plaque-like virus struck the kingdom killing people in large numbers within twenty four hours thereby leaving numbers of corpses around the kingdom. To the surprise of chief Kongi (the chief herbal priests), the vulture did not contact the virus but getting strong after observing a flock of this birds for three days .

This was the good news he delivered to King Agbakpa who immediately decreed death sentence on anyone caught killing the vultures and destroying their inhabitants. So this is how the kingdom was saved by the great vulture and remained a symbol of the kingdom forever.

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