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Elnathan John: Honor Among Thieves



Deep in the centre of the farm, animal volunteers were busy erecting a new gargantuan statue, the likes of which had never been seen on the farm before. The base of the statue was red and the statue itself – a stern looking wolf – was white, from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. They took great pride in their work, telling every animal that passed by that they were not getting paid for their work. They swore to all the animal gods that they were doing it for the love of White, whom they now referred to as prophet White.

Every morning when they came to work on the statue, they began with the Whitist prayer and before they left for the day, they ended with it.

In the name of the White father
And of the farm hands
And of the holy Whitists
Bless us…

As this was going on, the leader of the bats, (who was also shot by Dick-Tai – White’s overzealous, genocidal farm hand) had begun to recover. He asked his deputies, those who had not been killed by Dick-Tai, to count the missing bats. And they counted and counted and counted. 705. 705 bats, with names and which ceilings they had come out from. Missing. Or dead.

Dick-Tai walked around with cotton buds in his ear to block out any noise from the bats he had not killed or from those who now accused him of being in charge of a major yam barn when Goodhead was farm leader. That yam barn had now been audited by White and found to have been looted by Goodhead and his hyena That’s Uki. Animals whispered that, perhaps, if Dick-Tai was in charge of yams then, he too had questions to answer.

Meanwhile, the committee of animals that was created to make sure that no farm manager became a dictator, was busy allocating yams to themselves. Because this committee was powerful and paid animals for doing no work in particular, many former species leaders, who were old, infertile or even senile, found their way into the committee. The committee was where animals addicted to stealing went to live out their days. There were many who had danced and dined with Goodhead in his days of plundering the farm. There were some even who had been plundering the farm long before Goodhead became farm manager.

In the west of the farm, O’shege, the old baboon and former farm manager who had in fact introduced Goodhead to the farm in the first place, was holding court, scratching his hairy back and scrotum and telling any animal that cared to listen how bad the committee members were. As former farm manager he had plundered the farm too, but made sure he hand selected the next farm manager so no one would ask him questions.

“I know I am a thief,” O’shege declared. “But this new committee is full of thieves worse than I am. Really. I may be an old infertile baboon, but I am wise. Remember the committee when I was farm manager? Those idiots who refused to let me remain as farm manager in perpetuity. Yes. At least I couldn’t use yams to get my way then. Now yes, White may be clean and all but this committee is filthy. Really filthy. As a former thief myself, I have to say they give thieves a bad name. There should be honor even among animals who steal. Honor and respect. In my days, younger thieves respected older thieves.”

All the while O’shege picked his nose and scratched his scrotum.

One member of the committee, a dog named Nodee, became furious.

“How dare O’shege cast aspersions at us? How dare one thief accuse another?”

Nodee was famous for being the guard dog for the committee leader, especially when Whitists once suggested that the committee leader might be a thief. Nodee performed calisthenics and barked loudly. He dared anyone to touch the committee leader.

Nodee barked again.

“I have tremendous respect for O’shege. He is an old baboon. Yes he may scratch his sagging balls in public but I respect old baboons. However he is mistaking us for the committee that refused to take his yams and make him farm manager in perpetuity. We may be thieves, but we did not steal from him.”

And the Whitist worshippers organized conventions to venerate White, now prophet White. They planned to raise the statue of White and make it mandatory for every animal to bow before it or be declared a traitor loyal to Goodhead.

And the Whitists chanted the official Whitist prayer, day and night, endlessly:

In the name of the White father
And of the farm hands
And of the holy Whitists…

Bless us White for we have sinned
Bless our thoughts
Bless our desires
Bless our intentions

Blessed be thy name
Thy will be done in every quarter among every animal species
Teach us to love your will
Teach us to be teachable
Teach us to trust your will even when your will may not be clear
Teach us to defend your will before it becomes your will
For thine are the decisions, the thoughts and the glory
For as long as you choose to be farm leader

And all the while, White walked through the farm, a pain in his side, silent.

PS. No animals were harmed in the process of writing this fictional story. Not even thieving dogs or old noisy baboons.



Article written by Elnathan John, NewsWireNGR is Publishing with permission from the writer.


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