Continued from #14
Katabani blankly stared at the darkness before him. “The way of the man,” he thought to himself. One time it is this; then it changes into another. Is it wisdom utterly out of reach or is it pure nonsense?
Many things were running through his head. Katabani thought about the warriors that lay in hiding. The deadly look in their eyes, the shuttering beat of their hearts. Did they understand the way of the man better than he did? A flashback played in his mind, Taata’s face as he headed out of the village with the warriors.
That is when it dawned on him, how could he have forgotten that his father also carried the memory and pain of the loss of his daughter? Taata’s words echoed in his mind. Indeed it had been useless to act up against him.
Then the urge came again, like an irritating itch that he simply had to scratch. The urge to get up and join the men in battle. He was a man, right? Shwenkuru referred to him as a little rascal, but he had always stressed the fact that he was a man now and had to act like one. He remembered the spot where he had been forced to turn back by his father and at the same time, a vile taste filled his mouth. Shame, he had been turned away like a dog with its tail between its legs but he could easily find the way back.
With his mind made up, he stood and started through the thick vegetation but a sudden thought stopped him in his tracks. Were the men and his father still crouched behind the wild bushes? Or were they already deep in the thick of battle, bashing each other’s bodies with enkoni mercilessly? Katabani felt his stomach churn as he approached the battlefield. A certain unease cast a shadow over his mind. Pangas clashing,the sound of fierce war cries filling the air, mixed with the agony of warrior’s bodies hitting the ground, lifeless. Was he ready to face all this? Was he ready to look into the eyes of lifeless bodies everywhere, staring back into his with no emotion or life?
From the corner of his eye, a short stubby figure ran by. His eyes darted about in an attempt to keep up. “Who is there?” he mumbled. It happened in a flash, there she was in one moment, then gone the next. “Did she follow me here just to taunt me? Weren’t her words in the granary enough?” Katabani thought. He could feel his legs trembling in that instant. His knees were rope and his mind a block. “What was I thinking?”
“No!” he finally recoiled
In the silence, his teeth instantly rattled to the fear in his mind. An undeniable reminder of what he really felt on the inside. “What would Shwenkuru say?”
“He’d probably say something silly, or tell me a story,” Katabani thought to himself as it dawned on him.
“Yes, it went like this”
Gulu directed his gaze to the three boys.The younger one looked witty and sharp. The second one was rather reserved and quiet while the first one looked so meek and surmised that the he would be the best target to keep in his home.
He reminisced about his son in-law’s first visit and chuckled. This had been bound to happen. After all, the man was simply a beast. He had even failed to name his sons even after the tests he had put them through. What more was needed as proof of his inherent weakness?
In the end, the boys had been sent to him for their final task upon which they would finally be given names. Being the mighty creator that he was,he knew exactly what to do, how to put this puzzle to rest.
Gulu clapped his hands twice and maids started to flow into the room graciously. They moved with such ease almost as if they were floating in air,carrying plates of different delicacies and placing them onto the dining table. They were so many that the boys lost count as they swam past,ensuring that the table was wholesomely set with mouth watering delicacies.
The three Kanos looked at each other as Gulu watched their reactions. This had to be a joke of some sort. It surely had to be a joke. What was this? They had still heard nothing from their father after the whole incident of the milk in the gourds and now a feast?
As the table was set before them, they all felt like their own fate was laid before them. How had tables turned? Was their fate now placed in the mighty Gulu’s hands?
To be continued next week on Wednesday