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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Life in the bush of Fear

As you approach more you can hear clearly the sound of the drums, the incredible beauty of nature, wild and meek animals in harmony and tribes of black Africans with almost so white hearts.
It was a special day where some folks in the tribe were celebrating the birth of a newly born baby boy. The mother, Teresa was so much happy and excited. She finally had her little born baby boy though she had five other children but they were all girls. The father, Ted was even much happier and said proudly “Finally, I have the boy who will take the lead and carry my name proudly and forever.”
It was a typical tribe in Africa where people were more ruled by traditions more than regulations and laws. They believed that the ancient experiences are more vital than laws, shinning above to guide them without any need to change. They felt so much attached to forests, animals and climate around. To them, nature is the mother and the monster at the same time with all its variations. Tribes mostly in these regions were overwhelmed by magic, spirits and mysterious rituals. Rarely you could find educational buildings. Moreover, they despised who felt the wish to go and join or travel for schools and they set punishments for the one who decided that for his children. The main reason for them despising the educational systems was that they seeked all the natural and life education away from any human interference. They surrendered their thoughts, feelings and even their wills to nature where they regard God reflects fundamentally on every aspect there. The punishments of the tribe for those revolting against its rules and traditions were many and the most torturing; was to sail the guilty to a scary island away from their lands known to be the “Island of beasts” and others call it the “Island of fear“.
People were still gathering in the house where the newly born baby was there. His five sisters were happily dancing with colorful African garments and friends were offering gifts and silver chains, skins of hunted animals to cover the baby as it was believed there that it preserve the little baby from any evil spirits.
Ten years passed as quick as a fast running deer in a wild African zone … where life was never changed and traditions were same but only the baby to grow up to be a young child. Eddy, who was known to be a curious child, always listened carefully to his grandfather’s stories. To him, his grandfather replaced the school that he always had been curious about. Eddy was an extremely curious child; he would pay his life as a result for his adventurous risks. They saved him twice from a lion attack and when asked Eddy’s answers were; “I was trying to understand how they are so wild yet so tender when comes to their own babies?!” His mind was so much absorbing the contradictions in life also understanding it widely with all its different and opposing scales. He was to risk his life when he approached a cobra. The cobra was attacking his little goat and that made him try to get it away from that poisonous snake’s way. Eddy was a great listener; his memory exceeded limits of storing whatever experience passed by his mind. He never forgot what was being instructed to him and never repeated the same fault twice. His father was proud of him and anticipated that Eddy would be a great symbol in the tribe.
Another ten years passed and challenged Eddy’s curiosity for acquiring more and more. Through these years, Teresa felt seriously ill and suffered a lot and Eddy was in deep agony. Eddy’s feelings of helplessness were indescribable. He wished he could have helped his mother and to cure her. However; his tribe’s rules faced him fiercely against any source of human education/interference. Many magicians, old experienced men and people of innate knowledge in curing such cases like his mother’s came and checked her but in vain.  Her case seemed to be obscure and deteriorating radically.
At that time of the year, Africa seemed to be receiving many visitors where they mostly come from areas that lack the natural and wild beauty of the African sunny and dehydrating weather. The animals and the natural forest scenery were the center of attention of all tourists especially scientists and the well-educated and even the mere admirers.
Once Eddy was sitting isolated and so depressed that one of the tourists were taken by Eddy’s deep agony and managed to open up a conversation with him where he knew the reason of his worries about his ill mother. The tourist’s name was Willey. He was a Doctor and Eddy’s sharpness and depression caught his attention and consequently offered to help Eddy.
Doctor Willey was so much amazed that still the tribe uses these illusions even to cure seriously ill people and was by chance bringing about some of his medical books and references in his trip to Africa including means to treat people by simple leaves, bushes, plants and natural remedies. He knew very well that books and human interferences were forbidden in Eddy’s tribe. Any trial to intervene medically to help Eddy’s mother would bring about troubles to all sides. Eddy was so curious and desperate. He asked the Dr. to help him whatever the cost would be. The Doctor offered to lend him one of his books so as to use what natural remedies could help as being explored by scientist but sooner Eddy told him in so sad voice “You forgot Doctor that we as a tribe know neither how to read or to write.”
Willey (with great sympathy): “I am sorry for that but still I won,t leave you so desperate. I can draw you the shapes of needed leaves and you go search with these drawings and help your mother.”
Eddy (as if breathing again): “I owe you my life Doctor; please I need your help urgently.”
Willey started to draw and used the needed symbols to facilitate the search for Eddy. He took the final drawings and hide them into his clothes. After thanking the Doctor he started searching everywhere; he climbed hills, went deep into the forest, at daytime and at night, through the windy nights and serene daytime. He used the papers in his hands to compare and gather all what he got in a small bag until he finally collected nearly more than half of the amount needed and back home.
Teresa was so pale. She nearly could not talk or move. People seemed desperate of her case and imagined that she was caught by an evil spirit and that she had to be left alone to face the destiny awaiting her.
At a late night in a windy day, Eddy came near his mother with a pot of a mixture of plants in his hands. She was too weak to move and help herself taking the natural plant remedy. He helped her and she started to swallow. It was like a magic that he heard her voice coming out meekly saying “Eddy, my son I can talk again.” Eddy was so happy that he shouted with joy “Mother is recovering, let all the world know this!” At that time where he thought he was not watched over, the candles were suddenly lit and a gathering of folks appeared around where the head of the tribe – Tutuola – came afterwards.
Tutuola (in a harsh voice): “Eddy, you are to be punished for breaching our tribe’s traditions.”
Eddy (innocently happy): “Tutuola, look here; mother spoke and you all thought that she has evil spirits controlling her and she is recovering and you all heard her voice too.”
Tutuola (looking fiercely): “Our traditions and rituals are more important than your mother’s life.”
Eddy (shocked): “To every punishment sentence there should be merciful lines.”
Tutuola (with red eyes of anger): “Tutuola’s tribe knows no mercy and if exceptionally once applied, you won’t be included as you won’t witness it. I have been tracing your moves since you have met that white man with the secret papers in your hidden clothes. You are guilty more than ever Eddy; you have stabbed hardly your tribe with your disbelief and its more than any other guilt committed. You have chosen to follow human’s education and books so it is your utmost guilt and punishment.”
Eddy (Trying to convince him eagerly): “Tutuola you have to look at the results and now mother talked and is pale no more.”
Tutuola (Indifferently) : “The result is your disbelief and conspiracy. We are all gathered here to punish you Eddy no more pleas accepted.”
Eddy (Proudly): “At least I am not regretting and I am so happy that I saw my mother recovering.”
The gathering around started humming and many crowds filled the place. Despite Ted’s pleas to Tutuola to forgive Eddy and regarded him as a foolish youth who was not aware of what he said or did but Tutuola’s mind was insisting to punish the boy to the extreme punishment. Deep inside Tutuola was envious and surprised of the rare courage and the unique ability of that young boy. His replies were amazing and embarrassing Tutuola as the highest symbol of the tribe. For the first time Tutuola felt to be so tiny in comparison to Eddy’s eloquence. Tutuola’s keenness was to banish that boy to death so as not to be haunted by people’s looks of comparison and disgrace if he kept him living among them. His mind analyzed that the presence of Eddy would always remind people of his weakness. And sooner Tutuola sentenced him to be sailed at the early morning to the “Island of fears” where it was inevitable to all people that it meant indirectly that he was sentenced to death by leaving him on an island in the sea where he and monsters would confront one another.
Early morning all the tribe gathered to have their final look at that stubborn boy who challenged himself reaching to his doomed fate. Tutuola’s evilness didn’t even allow the boy to have his final look at his mother or greet his family and took him all of a sudden where guards surrounded him in a small ship leading him to the island. In his trip, he heard the guards whispering about the destiny of the previous guilty people who were killed by monsters and wild animals there. Eddy felt with fear and his heart starts trembling but he had real faith in the soul of his mother and the kind side of Mother Nature who never failed him since he was a child facing many risks and coming out courageously as a hero. Sooner Eddy was dropped in a scary island where nothing was there but darkness and snakes’ whispers. His heart was trembling and the stars were guiding him no more. He looked at the skies searching for the lines of help that he used to receive from the ancient souls he believed in but they were no more there for him and everything that used to sustain him just left him as if it was turning back its ugly face to punish him too.
Next day, Eddy woke up never losing hope. He started searching for means of survival. He walked through the island and had in his mind that since there are animals, beasts and birds then there are means of life. He climbed trees for fruits hanging over there, he followed little squirrels when he felt thirsty, he ran from beasts and took a shelter in a cave. He took that cave as his home and started to think and meditate. His eagerness to live was more than imaginable. He always felt that his mother was near and her soul was saving him from any danger.
Once in a glowing night with stars shinning as never before, decorating the skies as if preparing for an unexpected surprise – that Eddy was sitting and contemplating as usual. He went to collect some wood to light up some fire. While Eddy was searching for wood, he heard some one saying;
Anonymous: “You need some help?”
Eddy (totally taken aback): “Who are you?”
As Eddy was looking, he saw an old black man who was moving slowly and bending, coming near his side and their talk was resumed;
Anonymous (Moving slowly towards Ed): ” I am from the same tribe that you came from.”
Eddy (Still surprised to the fullest) : “And how you know that I am from Tutuola’s and how long have you been staying here?”
Anonymous: “The ship that sailed you is the same one that sailed me since fifteen years until now.”
Eddy (shocked and little desperate): “You have been passing lonely days here since fifteen years?!”
Anonymous (With confidence): “Yes, and I have that surviving spirit same as yours but I only lack one thing that is my youth.”
Eddy (little comforted): “Have you tried means to get out of here?”
Anonymous (coughing along with uttering some words): “I was too old to try and I became much older now besides I have found that beasts here are much more humane than human-beasts in our tribe so it suddenly became a choice not a punishment at the end.”
Eddy (With some curious tone): “You must have done an unforgivable guilt to be dropped in here.”
Anonymous (Sitting near by his side): “Same as you have done little child.”
Eddy (so surprised): “And how do you know mine?”
Anonymous (Calmly saying): “I am an old experienced man; I can read, write and still believe in our old spirits. A thing that made them believe that I am disturbing the old souls by books so the result is punishment forever in a remote island.”
Eddy: “Can I know your name please?”
Anonymous: “Hugh, they used to call me Old Hugh.”
Eddy: “I am happy to meet you Hugh; I always feel that mother’s soul is always guiding me and as you see never failed me.”
Hugh: “You reminded me of my youth. Do you want to get out of this island?”
Eddy: “Not until we do this together.”
Hugh: “Little child, I chose to stay here but now its your turn to tell me what you really need and I can help you doing it.”
Eddy (still surprised): “I really need to be back to my tribe but I know that the time I am back Tutuola’s anger will make him get rid of me at once and at the same time I need not go anywhere but my home land so its my choice to learn means to return stronger.”
Hugh: “You are very smart young boy that’s why I will teach you until you are filled with the needed power to fight back evil souls everywhere.”
Eddy (With an outstanding enthusiastic tone) : “I will stay with you until I feel capable to get back my right and to reunite with my family again.”
Hugh (Getting tired): “I will help you Son. Tomorrow will start our first lesson and time to sleep until the sun shines its rays back to us.”
Eddy went to the cave so happy and started to think of his life and the island where people think it was full of fear but it was really their souls that were haunted by fear. It was their scary ‘Tutuola’ who locked up their brains and kept his tyranny prevailing. They created this fear and believed it, Tutuola’s tribe has to carry another name, much cheerful, much safer and much helping people to keep the connection of the past along with the progress of the time. Eddy dreamt of many changes, dreamt of his sisters getting educated, dreamt that all ill and suffering people in his tribe are cured, thought of the ancient magic spells and how they stood guiding him and comforting his soul.
Until it was another day with that sunny rays shinning upon the island. Eddy understood lots of lessons from Hugh. He was so patient and keen to learn more and more. Hugh was never tired or intolerant to give him all his knowledge and experience in life. He was now sure that Eddy was made for their Tribe not someone else. He taught him ways of fighting, ways of taming beasts and animals, ways of magic to tame evil souls, means of medical natural remedies, reading, writing and much more importantly methods of reading minds.
After three years, Eddy was someone new; however was the same black sharp minded boy but much older and much filled with knowledge and experience. Eddy’s company with Hugh made him understand that life is nothing more than an opportunity and a chance, if we have not the correct and right tools we will lose it for all and forever. He learnt from Hugh too that Humans’ soul is made up of good and evil and it is the good mostly taking the lead but some evil souls rise to torture them and it’s the duty of the good to cleanse them away.
Eddy finally made up his mind and decided to speak frankly to Hugh and it went as such;
Eddy (With some hesitation in his voice): “Hugh, I need to tell you that its time for me to move back home.”
Hugh (Smiling with extreme serenity): “I already know that Son.”
Eddy (Trying to collect himself of the depth of this situation) : “I still need you to come with me.”
Hugh (Hugging him then continuing): “I have to live the little rest of my life with beasts here, I can’t leave them and tame other beasts, I have grown up much older and now its your turn.”
Eddy (Sighing with some comfort): “I promise you of a recent change, Old Hugh.”
Hugh (Acquiring some advising tone) : “I am sure Eddy and don’t worry as soon as our souls can communicate, I can feel your victory and failure only if you looked at the stars above so I will be with you wherever you go.”
Eddy (With tears in his eyes) : “I owe you a lot, old man.”
Hugh: “I owe you the same Son, you have made me live my youth in your eyes and fulfill the hope I was not able to make back in time.”
At that time, Eddy hugged the Old Hugh. Hugh gave him the ship that they constructed all through the past three years and guided him to follow the stars back home. It was a night sailing trip for Eddy and it was so fast to reach his tribe again.
Eddy came near the shores of the Tribe that he felt the urge to go quickly and looked at his mother, he missed her smile, he missed his father and his sisters too and all the good people who believed in him before. On his way in the forest, he was gradually followed by lions, tigers, monkeys, giraffes, squirrels, foxes, wolves, birds, reptiles. It was an army of animals following his steps as if declaring their belief; that its time for change. It is soon time for evil souls to be replaced by good ones. He was on the verge of the main entrance of the gates of the Tribe where guards were running away scared of the huge animal gathering that had never happened before and started alarming the tribe to seek shelters and to run to far areas. Eddy came announcing his need to meet Tutuola, a thing that made some people recognize him. Here comes Tutuola with guards surrounding him and it goes like this;
Tutuola (Trembling with fear from the unexpected scene): “Is it Eddy?!”
Eddy (Proudly replying): “You can call me the good soul instead.”
Tutuola: “What is that animal gathering that you came along with?”
Eddy: “They don’t even need you here Tutuola, what do you think? You shall leave the tribe now and forever.”
Tutuola (Scared): “Where should I go Eddy and I am now an old man, you can take lead instead.”
Eddy: “You have to leave the tribe now, no place for evil souls amongst us.”
Tutuola (trembling with fear on hearing lion’s roars): “I beg for mercy kind man.”
Eddy (Ironically): ” Tutuola’s tribe knows no mercy and if applied won’t be done for you. Can you remember these words/lines, do you know how to flashback?”
Tutuola: “yes, I remember however, I cared about the beliefs and traditions.”
Eddy: “I only care about humans.”
Tutuola: “Where should I go Eddy?”
Eddy: “Island of beasts.”
Tutuola screamed for help and suddenly ordered his guards to fight back but no one helped him as if he was left to face alone his misery and the result of merciless and hardheartedness. Tutuola suddenly grabbed a knife and tried to stab the heart of Eddy but Eddy fought back leaving him a dead body.
Tutuola’s corpse was taken away by beasts and wild animals as if celebrating the death of evilness and starting a new page of love and peace. Eddy was reunited again with his family. His mother, father, sisters and he was chosen to be the head of the tribe but that time it was not named Eddy’s tribe. He chose a name where all the people agreed upon to be “Tribe of Victory”. At that moment he looked at the skies finding the same stars sparkling with hope and guiding reflections of more light and brightness. He sent his message of victory to Old Hugh and he smiled back with hope.

The End

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