Ajani, a native gentleman who was always minding his own business, was set for a journey that was very important to his health and the adventure for his son. It was a journey to his late wife’s grave some miles away from the village. He hoped meeting a friend afterwards. He stepped out from his homestead channelling the whole strength of his voice into his son’s ear, as the cloud was already receiving her sight. He remembered the donkey his fathers passed unto his father and unto him. Then, he hoped, “perhaps, this gentle donkey might be of help.”
The donkey has grown towards the height of Methuselah, with colourful grey bears.
“Should I let this donkey free? It seems not lasting this journey.”
Ajani tried melting his heart. He was answered by the look worn by the donkey- a shy mood appearing like the shadow across her face. But instead, he didn’t let his emotion took over from his pleasure. He pushed the donkey out from the pen, and called on to his son the second time.
His son soon joined him as he dragged the donkey down the courtyard.
“Father, where are we heading?
Father, who are we going to meet?
Father, how long will it take to get there?
Father, why are you taking the donkey?”
Asked his son.
Ajani summed up the courage to answer him, as he spoke in parables. “The journey we can’t measure, the donkey for the pleasure.”
The journey began, and Ajani climbed on to the donkey- only to test her strength. “Not that bad” He heaved a sigh of relief after he had journeyed some few metres away from his homestead, while his confused son trekked behind.
Now, he had tasted a morsel of the actual pleasure, that he forget his son- who was bleeding sweats all over his skin, like a goat tied to a stake under intensive watch on the 24th day of December.
The cloud received her sight, praising the sun for the miracle of a new day. The wind blew in direction of confusion for some minutes, and Kamuli, a fellow villager called Ajani to order.
“O, humans! Ajani, you are but an aged wicked father. It is unfair, and inhumane. You smile on your donkey while your little son walks on, on his weakened heels behind. Shame on you!” Kamuli walked on whispering the last statement over and over again. “Shame on you! Shame on you!! Shame on you!!!”
Ajani turned back slightly to have a look at his son. Lo, it was like he had just been rescued from a river after drowning for an hour. His eyes were already bleeding out red light, while his legs were shaking off the entire tiredness.
Ajani jumped off quickly, wearing this sympathetic look. He could not believe what he had done to his beloved son. It was like selling him out as a slave, for an exchange of worthless pebbles. Like he had almost slaughtered his own son for no cause. He held his son by the shoulder, and lifted him up to the donkey. He thereafter held the rein attached to the donkey to open the eyes of the path. His son smiled continuously, and soon, he felt free like he was at the peak of Mt Everest. The donkey shook its small tail that signified her explicit excitement. “What a relief from a catastrophic burden!” I guess that was what she meant.
This pleasure only lasted some distance away, as a fellow called Agbeke created a prickly moment for the donkey. Her entire conversation with Ajani was centred on him getting back. The anger of her voice almost tore Ajani’s ears apart. She lamented, ” Mr Ajani, why must you surfer yourself, while your little son enjoy the pleasure? This is my first time of seeing a father so cold that he could worship his own son. This must be the stronghold of family spell casted on your generations.” She advised, “why not share the pleasure together instead of weathering away your energy in the peaceful atmosphere!”
“That’s what I should have done earlier.” He complained as he dropped his son. He quickly dried up the sweat in his face and jumped unto the donkey, and took his confused son by the hand unto the donkey. The donkey made a squeaky sound to show her displeasure with this decision Ajani has taken. For a minute, the donkey was unable to move a limb. Ajani’s first hit made her staggered at that point. The second made her move some inches forward; and thereafter, walked like she was filled with an extremely hot wine.
The road became rough for Ajani and his son: the journey seems to be never ending. “This is annoying!” Ajani complained. “What’s wrong with this stupid donkey?”
His son looked at his face, for the strength of his voice was weakened by the repetition of that same words.
The sun looked out from the horizon, sneaking out of the eastern clouds. Her anger fell upon the mountains, along in the brooks of the valley; combing the nooks and crannies of the forest. She stretched forth her strength at Ajani’s back, freezing his shirt to about a thousand degree Centigrade; while his son enjoy the human canopy- under the shadow of a melting man. Ajani’s temperature has broken the thermometer, while he kept sipping some drops of water time after time. He could not imagine such an unfortunate circumstance, but kept hoping that the cloud could come to his aid.
Amao, a well-known village champion, found Ajani and his son annoying. The anger in his voice almost tore the road into pieces.
“Father and son, you are cruel. Can’t you see that this donkey is already tired? Or perhaps, you are blind, why not seek the eyes of the donkey. Is there any difference in trekking? After all, you are sweating already. Let this donkey free!” Commanded the fella. He hissed and quickly joined his friend who was already ahead of him.
Ajani went blank for some seconds, starring at the naked street. His son kept looking at his heels, wandering what was going to happen after then.
Ajani lifted himself up from the donkey unto the ground. It was as if the mountain was moved from the surface of the earth to the sea. And he sluggishly carried his son, and set his foot on the already weakened soil. Then, they proceeded on their unfortunate journey.
The donkey began to walk faster, hoping that it continued that way. Her tail never stopped tangling right and left, her limbs were at this moment super-healthy. She was ahead while Ajani and his son followed from behind.
Minutes later, the entire air became frozen, and the atmosphere became stuffy. The snails remembered the path, for by now, Ajani had developed careless foot. The trees stopped moving, the grasses bowed towards the other sides off the path. Even the busy birds stopped whistling.
This ugly scene made Elujobi, a busy palm wine drunkard, left his palm wine at the table to attend to the matter he wasn’t invited to even share his opinion. He staggered heavily as he approached Ajani and his son.
“You have enslaved yourself for no reason. You don’t have to complain of thirst when the stream is right at your backyard. Isn’t this your donkey? Why then should you surfer yourself, o poor father and his son?” He said. “This is indeed a world with senseless entities.”
Ajani would have committed murder, but he was lacking two things: he was feeling very strong with malaria, and he was not prepared for a cage in the king’s palace. He looked at Elujobi, who was already at his stupor and smiled out anger from his confused face. And the same vein, Elujobi returned, and proceeded to his paradise to romance his calabash of palm wine.
For several minutes, Ajani was unable to take a step. He was still thinking of what to do. His son asked, “Father, why must people always complain about what you do? Is there any other way to go about the journey?”
He was unable to reply the questions, for he was still thinking out a way from his already superheated mind. Then he remembered the words of a wise man, who rode on the clouds of wisdom, and resided on the table of understanding.
“My son, people must always complain. There isn’t a specific way to please everyone. And right now, the only way left is leaving the donkey. But, that’s another stupid action.” He looked at his son’s face and concluded, “Our life is not dependent on other, we must learn to live and learn our mistakes. There isn’t any wisdom one can apply, there isn’t any way one can comprehend, there isn’t any behaviour one can portray; that can please others. Dwelling in the realm of insanity is trying to please others.”
(Source: this story is furnished out from the story in the song; the horse, the man and his son by Ebenezer Obey)
Image from https://clipartfest.com