“Elders”. Maazi Obiechina finally spoke after several minutes of silence.

“You all know why we are here. It is said that a toad does not run in the daylight for nothing.”

“Yes, you are a true son of the land.” Maazi Ukachi applauded him, he nodded his head and stamped his staff on the ground in a gesture of agreement. Maazi Ukachi looked at the faces of the old men that had formed a circle at his Obi. Their gray hair showing signs of wisdom that the gods had bestowed on them with age. They were all looking pensive and moody.

“Elders.” Maazi Ukachi continued. Our people has a saying that a child that refuses his mother to sleep, he himself will not sleep.

“That is true.” they murmured in agreement.

“The events that has taken place recently in our communities clearly warns us that a man should not fight with his chi. Our people are dying not because of any disease but because of their stubbornness. We are here to deliberate and find a solution to the problem we are currently facing.”

He looked up at them and spread open his two palms.
“I hope I have spoken your mind.”

“Yes you have.” they said in unison.

“I think we should invite the chief priest, the mouth piece of the gods to consult the gods and tell us the way forward.” Maazi Okoroeze suggested.

He then stood up and pointing his walking stick in the air as if to warm an erring child, continued.
“But before then let us send a message to the community through the town crier that they should desist from tempting the gods because the gods are wise. This is my own suggestion my fellow elders. ” He then sat down and rested his jaw on his walking stick.

“Thank you Maazi Okoroeze you spoke well the gods are really wise. Maazi Ukachi praised him.

“I couldn’t believe it when my younger brother’s wife Ojiugo woke up one day as if prompted by bad spirits decided to go against our customs and traditions. Maazi Ukachi said. Looking at the faces of the elders before him he could see their faces were that of disappointment

“Could you believe it that Ojiugo took a climbing robe and went to tap palm wine. My elders does a woman climb Palm tree not to talk of tapping palm wine in our culture”? He asked.

“no, never.” the men shouted in agreement, each shaking his head in disbelief,

“my greatest bewilderment came when her husband my brother Afamefuna supported her and told me that our culture is outdated and needed to be made away with,”

“Outdated, this is strange, the culture and traditions that was handed over to us by our ancestors has now become archaic.” Maazi Eyinnia the youngest among them and who was a renowned dibia said. He had learnt it from his father and his father in turn had learnt it from his own father, and thus the art and craft of traditional medicine had been passed down to them from generation past.

“But i wasn’t suprised when they brought her back spread on mat. She fell down from the palm tree as soon as she reached the top. Telling you that the gods are wise that we should always learn to leave things the way they are and not fight with the gods.” Maazi Ukachi concluded.

“This is almost the same thing that happened to Mgborie, Maazi Okwunuka’s stubborn daughter, who decided to go to the Iyioji stream at midday when it is forbidden to go near it at such an hour because the goddess of the river usually have their meeting at that hour. You know what happened to her?

“I do not know oh, i have not heard the story. Maazi Ejiofor replied him, eager to hear more.

“My brother she got drowned and till today nobody have seen her corpse as the gods have refused to release it.”

“That serves her right.” They said.

“Alright, my fellow elders I think Maazi Okoroeze’s suggestion is the best or has anyone any other ideas? Ukachi asked.

“No.” they replied him

“Well then we shall gather here next eke market day. After now I will send for the town crier and also send someone to go and inform the chief priest of our decision.” Ukachi informed them.

They dispersed each to his home.



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