BEFORE THE BEGINNING, A Short Story: continuation

BEFORE THE BEGINNING

A Short Story

…Before he could utter a word, kunlung spoke, “I know you are surprised, but I am he whom you are waiting for, the messenger of Yamba, now let’s see how far you have gone with the preparations”…

Continued…

…With this, the chief priest was brought back from his reverie and was showing Kunlung the shrine, the earthen pots, the calabashes, all ready for the great Eku festival, he went further to show him the goats to be slaughtered and other presents to be offered to Yamba on that day.
“Come let’s go into the village and you will see how we are all preparing for this festival” said the chief priest to Kunlung. Kunlung suddenly transformed into his snake form and slithered behind the chief priest towards the village.
The sun was already setting when the chief priest and Kunlung made it to the village stream, where,the chief priest left Kunlung and went ahead to the village,to his home, for Kunlung was not supposed to enter the village in his snake form, lest the people faint for fear.
Very early in the morning, as Kunlung was enjoying the cool of the stream after having had a very delicious dinner of a ram, he heard noises coming towards him from the village, so he slithered into a more thicker bush and slid into a cave close to the stream. The noise grew louder and a group of women came into his view, each was carrying a big earthen pot; they were all of middle age.
As they reach the mouth of the stream, one of the women, the one in front said an oblation to Yamba, then all of them dipped in their pots to fetch water. One of the women said, “let’s be fast so that we can fetch as much as we need for the brewing of the mehn (local beer) for the festival before other women and herdboys come ad contaminate the water and make it unfit for use”; as she was talking, the other women were sniggering and trying to hide their laughter, but soon bursted into peal and peal of laughter before one of them addressed her, ” Lamade, have you forgotten that no one is permitted to fetch water before sunrise, as it has been announced by the town crier that the Eku festival is in a weeks time?” “Oh! Forgive me, I have a lot going on in my mind” replied Lamade. “Anyways, we still have to be fast, so as to finish everything on time and prepare. You know this year’s festival is going to be special, I am offering two goats to Yamba and the goddess, because last year, I asked for the fruit of the womb and my request was granted, all thanks to Yamba, I am now a proud mother”. The other women joined her and chorused “All thanks to Gamba indeed we are grateful”.
After filling their pots they lifted and balanced it on their heads and off they went to the village. Kunlung was so impressed with what he heard, “preparations are going just fine…” he thought, he was already imagining the sweet and refreshing taste of blood trickling down his throat on that day, when he was suddenly brought back to reality by the sound of approaching footsteps coming from the mountains.
Ngalbang was dancing, leaping and running at the same time, he could not contain his joy, he has been recruited into the dancing group for the great Eku festival… and oh!…he is going to give it his all and so wherever he went, he is always with his mbikum (flute made from corn stalk) blowing and dancing even as he’s currently doing. His friend Kilala was following behind, annoyed and irritated as Ngalbang kept bumping into him or stepping on his toes, finally, he called out to Ngalbang “one of your cows is heading towards the stream and you know what that means!” Ngalbang was suddenly brought back to his senses “Ai na mo!!! ” he lamented, “what did you say?, my cow? Ai shaba luktuk” he lamented the more, ” I am finished, how could the gods choose to be so hard on me? Just a while ago I was so happy to be chosen to perform in this year’s dance ( kollo) for the great festival and now this great misfortune has befallen me” (no one is allowed to fetch water, or water their animals before the sun is up in the sky a week to the great festival of Eku, as it is believed that the messenger of Yamba goes there early in the morning to drink. Also the women chosen specially for the job of brewing the (mehn) goes there to fetch water for the brewing and so anyone who breaks the rule is given a heavy penalty). All the while Ngalbang was saying these, he was wildly running towards the stream. On getting there, he was shocked to see there was not a single cow, nor footmarks of cows. He sprinted back to where Kilala was sitting on a rock and looking smoggy, “you scoundrel!” Said Ngalbang, “you have outsmarted me again!” and both of them bursted into laughter… “I am sorry, I had to use this expensive trick on you, cause I don’t know what else to do to get you out of this obsession” Kilala replied and both burst into laughter again… “You see, my friend, I am going to dance like you have never seen me done before, cause this is gonna be a special one for me…my honest, last year’s was so bountiful, all my barns are filled up and my cattle are fat and flourishing, Eku be praised” echoed Kilala…
Later that day, Kunlung was lying down under a cool shade, thinking “this mortals have great love for Yamba and their habitation is pleasant… hmmm, how pleasant and enjoyable will it be to dwell amongst them and be their leader!”… The more Kunlung thought about it, the more tempting the idea became… and so he began to think of a way to dwell amongst these people, not just as a messenger of Yamba, but as one of them, their leader and also to have children (half beings) with their women… At the thought of their women, Kunlung closed his eyes in pleasure, for the human women he saw are indeed beautiful! Black shiny skin, ample chests and luscious backsides! Their men must be lucky, thought kunlung.
A day to the great Eku festival, the very day Kunlung was to back to the mythical palace of Yamba, a brilliant idea downed on him…
And so the story of how gods dwelled amongst men at a point in time, in the beautiful kingdom of Kaltungo began…

To be continued…

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