NIGERIA 2023: A Tale Of The Lion And The Goat
One day The Goat went down to the stream for a drink and met The Lion there, already drinking.
The Goat greeted The Lion most respectfully and then quietly and most meekly took its place, farther downstream, and proceeded to drink.
From time to time, The Lion, a rather morose expression on his face, would stare hard at The Goat.
Sometimes The Goat would feel the cold stare, raise his head and catch The Lion staring at him,
The Goat would then nervously smile at The Lion and most deferentially greet him all over again.
The Lion, unsmiling, unspeaking, would curtly nod and return to drinking, even as The Goat, ever more worried, did the same.
After a while, The Lion looked up at The Goat and said to him: “Mr. Goat, do you not realize that even as you are drinking water from over there, you are dirtying the water I am drinking over here?”
And, The Goat, perplexed by the query, considered it and, with the greatest humility, said: “Do most graciously pardon me, great Lion, but unless I am very mistaken, you are the one drinking upstream, while I am only drinking downstream. Maybe my geography deserts me now, but I was under the impression that water flows down, rather than up rivers, wherefore, what I am drinking is but remnants of what you have already drunk, sir.”
And The Lion, weighing this, saw that The Goat was right and returned to drinking, with The Goat, on its part, rather nervously, doing the same.
A short while later, The Lion raised its head once again and said unto The Goat: “Mr. Goat, do you not remember the time, long ago, when your mother, quite rudely and indeed, most unforgivably, insulted my most noble mother at the market square where your mother has a stall?”
And The Goat, truly befuddled, contemplated this and replied: “Please thou, great Lion, do not be offended but unless again, I am most mistaken, your adorable mother died long before my blessed grandmother was even born. Perhaps, once more, I am only being most ignorant, but I would have thought it would take a miracle, the like unknown to all of history, for my poor but well brought up mother to have met someone who died before her mother, my grandmother, was born, and insulted them.”
And The Lion, once again, saw that The Goat was completely right and that it was he that was most shamefully, miserably, pathetically, dishonestly and altogether most dishonourably wrong, and so went back to drinking, as did The Goat, though really scared now.
Then, after yet another while, The Lion raised its head and, with a glint in his eye, matter of factly said unto The Goat: “I am really very quite sorry Mr. Goat but I am hungry and must now eat you for my breakfast. Please kindly say your last prayers and, humbly and dutifully prepare to die!”
Thereupon, The Lion charged The Goat, which, for some reason, suddenly seemed totally unshaken and unfazed, not flinching at all, and, most stoutly holding its ground, not even moving as much as an inch, just coolly regarding The Lion, even as he barreled down on him.
Suddenly, midway, The Lion missed his stride and fell rather clumsily into the stream.
Incensed and embarrassed, he nevertheless, quickly proceeded to regain himself and hurriedly began to climb back onto the bank.
At that moment, he just happened to catch his own reflection in the water from the corner of his eye and was immediately most alarmed by what he saw.
Looking more closely at the reflection, he was stopped dead in his tracks for what stared back at him was not any kind of lion but a very, very obvious goat, indeed!
Frightened and shocked, heart racing with a feeling of the most sickening dread suddenly beginning to envelope him, he managed to struggle onto the bank, frantically appraising himself more thoroughly.
In utmost horror, he saw and confirmed for himself that he was indeed, and really, and only just a goat, after all!
Panicked, confused and perplexed, indeed, befuddled, astonished and stupefied, even beginning to whimper like a newborn baby, it glanced at The Greatest Of All Time and was petrified to see what he had been so sure was a goat was actually a real and unmistakable lion, and indeed, not just any lion but the Lion King, himself, regal and royal, standing unmoved and immovable, right there where he had thought he had only seen a mere goat and meal to be had for his breakfast!
Just at that moment, a dove, safe in the treetops, calmly observing the scene, remarked to her husband, standing right next to her: “My one and only true love, delusion is but the universal affliction of them that by vanity and hubris are doomed to undo themselves in the abomination of megalomania powered by the arrogance of what really is only transient power.”
And her husband, replied: “It Is true but I also believe we shall forever wonder what in the world any goat, be it a village headmaster of a most woefully failed central banker, or, a complete nonentity and pathological ingrate of a former recharge cards seller, might had been thinking to have mistaken itself for a lion and then mistaken a lion, indeed, none other than The Lion of Bourdillon, himself, for its prey!”
– Jesutega Onokpasa, a lawyer and member, All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Campaign Council, writes from Warri.
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