Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Short Story - The Lesson of True Love

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By Onyinye Orabuike

Once there lived a strong and handsome he goat, Tabi. At his prime, Tabi met and fell in love with the young and beautiful daughter of the lion. The love that sprung between them that beautiful summer grew and blossomed, as everyone watched. Theirs was true love.

Every evening, just after the son had gone down, Tabi, the he goat would go out and wait beside the winter bridge for the daughter of the lion, and hand in hand, the two love birds would stroll under the evening breeze. The rest watched.

After the nightly stroll one day, Tabi decided, and took the daughter of the lion home to his father. His people said nothing in the presence of the young lioness, for they were uneasy. Tabi told his people not to be afraid, his lover, he said was most harmless, and there was no guile in her. Theirs, you will find out, was a tale of true love.

Tabis’ father called him after the daughter of the lion had gone and warned him to desist from the unholy romance between him and the daughter of the lion. Come home and take wife from among your kind, he told him. Tabi was incensed. He couldn’t understand how it was that his people did not know the meaning of true love.

Their feeling for each other continued to grow. A night came and he followed his heartthrob home to the house of the lion and asked for her hand in marriage. The lion refused. You cannot marry my daughter, he told him. You do not have what it requires to be the son-in law of the lion. The he goat was devastated, but could not think of anything to do. But the daughter of the lion had and idea. Under the moonlight that night, she told him what to do in order to win her fathers heart, and get his consent. Tabi was happy again. He would do anything to prove his love for the daughter of the lion, for theirs was true love.

Soon after, strange things began to happen. Goats started missing without a trace. First the young and healthy kids, then the weak and helpless aged ones. The people watched with their heart in their mouths. They had their suspicion but were afraid to confront Tabi, for fear of his wrath. They were afraid he might go out and invite his new friends to come and ravage their kingdom.

The goats got up on day and decided they won’t take it anymore. They gathered themselves together, the strongest and the powerful among them, and they waited for Tabi to return from his nightly frolicking with the daughter of the lion.

They waited and waited, but that night, Tabi did not return home. Morning came and went, but Tabi did not return. Days passed but no one saw him. His brothers wondered what had become of Tabi and his love for the daughter of the lion. No one was sure though, but it could only be one thing, maybe his heartthrob, the daughter of the lion had suddenly grown into a lioness, and taught him the lesson of true love.

And they were right, for not long after, the lion gathered his sons and devastated the homestead of the goats, killing many, and taking others captive. The goats realized their habitation was no longer safe, but they did not really blame the lion, for was it not their very own that showed him the way to their household.

 They packed their belongings and moved further south, where they met and made a pact with man, with whom they lived with till this very day. They only hoped that the younger generation, those of them that survived, had learnt the lesson of TRUE LOVE.

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