Saved by the Enemy
Gazing into the empty space beyond the sky, as the sun was creeping at a snail's pace down to meet his waiting friend the horizon, the lone figure stood. Looking back to his village not far from where he was sitting, he could see figures moving from one corner of the village to the other side. Children were crying and women were shouting with trembling voices for their children. The sun had sunk into the horizon, so the place was getting dark and a feeling of fear enveloped the whole village. The place was so silent at this hour when darkness covers the village.
Descending slowly towards the village he could hear someone talking in stifled whispers to each other. He moved slowly and quietly, making sure not to disturb anything in his path so that he could hear what they were discussing. Few metres away from him, he could see a group of men. They were standing around listening to the chief from the village. They were discussing about what was going to happen and how they will face it the next morning. The tone of their voices was rough and hoarse as if a cat was trying to fight with a dog.
He recalled an incident that had happened during the past few weeks. Some young men from the village went to a near by village and stole a pig and some food from a garden. The owner of the pig and some young men from that village came to the village to resolve the problem and to claim some form of compensation. They could not, however, arrive at a consensus because the young men from both villages were shouting and exchanging heated words at each other igniting some tension between the two villages. The chief dismissed the case. The men from the other village went away angrily. “We will come back with force next time and there will be no mercy,” shouted the angry men.
“Kama, where have you been and what are you doing here?” a soft and deep familiar voice came from behind him. Kama turned around to see who was talking to face tho owner of the voice. It was his father. “Your mother is looking for you every where, go to your mother right now and do not stand around here, you are too small to walk around at this time of the night”, said his father. “What’s happening?” he implored his father with curiosity. “The neighbouring village is going to make war with us; we do not know they might attack our village during the night or early next morning. Go to the house and stay with your mother and do not come out,” said his father.
He walked slowly to the house, pushed the door open and walked inside. His mother barked at him angrily like a mad dog, “You little nut, I was looking for you every where, come inside sit down, eat your food and go to bed early.” With palpitated voice he said to his mother, “I don’t want to eat and I don’t want to sleep.” “Why?” insisted his mother. “I am so scared of this fighting thing” said Kama. “It’s okay son just eat a piece of yam and go to bed,” comforted his mother.
Kama went to bed but he could not sleep at al. He was troubled with thoughts on war fare and his eyes could hardly shut. He had a sleepless night wondering what is going to happen in any minute from now.
There was a loud noise and people were screaming and shouting from every sides and corners of the village. Women were running here and there calling for their children while the children were crying and looking for their parents. All the animals scurried in all direction for safety. Black smokes and flames were belching out from the houses like a volcanic eruption. The place was blanketed with thick smoke diminishing visibility. Many villagers had difficulty finding their way out but they managed to make it out with some help from others.
Kama stood outside his house disoriented not knowing what to do. His parents forget all about him because the enemy tribes had already over taken their village. As he stood there, he saw a man who was tall and strong with big beard running towards him. Kama was too scared to stand and watch this man. He turned in the opposite direction and tried to run for his life but it was too late. The man grabbed him roughly and dragged him away. Kama cried out for help but there was no one to come to his assistance in response to his cry. He was taken to the enemy tribe whose looks were furious and strong.
The fight was fiercely fought and three of Kama’s tribes’ men were killed by the enemy tribe. All the things were destroyed and the place look deserted, as though there were no plants, houses, animals and human beings there before. Every plants and houses were brought down. Nothing could stand against the enemy.
When the sun was high up in the sky the fight began to slow down, the warriors retreat to their side to rest from the battle. Kama’s tribe ran to the mountains for their safety. They sat there looking down to their village and saw the smoke rising from the burning houses. It made all of them worried. It was as if all the trees, banana plants, sugar cane and other plants were waving goodbye to them. Tears dropped down freely from their eyes like rain drops with no winds, lightning and thunder storms.
Meanwhile, at the burning village, Kama stood with his two hands tied behind his back. Looking upward towards the mountains where his people were standing, he could feel the pain his people were feeling at the moment. He stood there with tears rushing down his cheek. Kama was moved at the sight of his people but he was too small to do something to help them. He knew that he was a death person without a future. His enemy could do anything to him weather they will kill him or spare his life.
“We have lost our son,” said his father in a trembling voice. He recalled all the words that his son said the night before this terrible event. He could not control his emotions so he cried bitterly. The mother puts both hands on her head and weeps bitterly while looking down to the village which was once her home till she runs out of tears. She stood there watching the enemy gathering around one place.
The man who caught Kama pulls him and stands him in front of all the men. Kama suddenly realises that he is going to die right now. His eyes fill with tears. When he looks into the faces of the men he could not see mercy but only hatred. “Let’s kill him and leave his body here so that his family can come and take his body away,” said the men. Some men agreed and others disagree with the idea. They argued amongst themselves whether to kill him or spare his life. “Its okay, stop arguing amongst you!” said the war leader. “I have made my mind that we will save his life.” At that moment Kama’s heart began to settle down to its normal beat and position. “Who’s going to look after him?” said one of them. The war leader thought for awhile and said “My clan will look after him and he will be one of us when he grows up to be a man.”
So they took Kama to their village so that he will never see his family again. He will live with his enemy tribe for the rest of his life and will be one of them in the future.
- By William Tabike