When Cousins Don’t Think!
Once, the Gorilla and the Chimpanzee met up with each other on a long, hot trail.
They had no where to go in particular, though they had to go until they could find somewhere they could be safe.
Hunters were harassing them, bush doctors wanted parts of their bodies for medicine and concoctions.
Scientists needed to dissect their bodies for research and experiments. It was becoming a very unbearable existence for them…but,
soon they reached a well.
Both of them were very thirsty, and were dying for at least a drop of water.
Both of them looked into the well and sure there was water. They both looked into the well but the water was a bit aloof,
so they decided the best thing was to look for a gourd or perhaps a cup. But, as they turned to go for a search, the Gorilla sighted
an old, rusty, tin cup which the Chimp picked up swiftly. The two folks had reached thirst-break point, but one of them was mistaken.
They dipped into the well, but could not reach the water, so they decided to get a loop on the handle of the cup so they could be able
to reach the water effectively, in order to be drunken with water. There was a stately boabab tree nearby, so as soon the Chimp had his
fill of water, he quickly jumped away, and before the Gorilla knew what was quite happening, the Chimp was already far away on one of the
large trunks of the boabab.
“And what’s that all about?” The Gorilla asked.
“Superiority”, the Chimp answered.
“I don’t get it”, the Gorilla countered.
“I don’t think you need to get it”, the Chimp retorted. “You and I, are not supposed to drink from the same cup, I am of a more superior caste
than you are, now do you get it”?
“but I saw the cup, and tied the loop on it, so I deserve at least a cup of water to plead with my thirst.”
The Gorilla appealed to the Chimp, but the Chimp would have none of that, he just sat up there in the tree, cup in hand.
After the Gorilla got tired of begging, he just had to trudge on, to see if there was another well ahead.
Soon, the Baboon reached the well and wanted some water. “You must go down, back towards where you are coming from, for my snuff box fell on my way,
and you must fetch it for me. And soon as you are back, I’ll give you three cups full, all for your little tummy.”
The baboon weighed the given options, but decided it was more dignified to search ahead for water somewhere, than to run errands for a common Chimp!
On came an Orangutan, and he dragged his feet along tired, the Chimp cried from up the tree, “Huhu haha! Even you Orangu; you thirsty too, huhuhu?
If you want a drink, then you must go back up the road and check if no man kind comes along, then I will give you to your fill, many waters too.
You know your kind is rare, and them humans need your kind, like their selfish lives!
“Unnatural things happen to unnatural folks,” the Orangutan told the Chimp, “You are up there in the tree and can you not survey the area, with a bird’s
The Chimp was too wise to take counsel, and the thirsty, old Orangutan trudged on in, the hope of a sunshine somewhere.
The Gibbon came on, but the Chimp told him, “You have been gathering all day, but a Chimp has nothing to eat, if you will give me the bunch of Abancheleke,
that you hands, then you will drink of my well.”
“My family is home and waiting,” the Gibbon told him. “Have mercy and let me have some water, for I have an infant suckling as well and we need this food badly.
“All or nothing?” the Chimp asked him, not even batting an eyelid. So, the Gibbon passed.
All from out of the blues, the whiz cousin, the Monkey bungled up.
“Hey! popsickle!” The Chimp bellowed, “What’s up with you?”
“Just passing and saw the well, and a Monkey’s got to drink. Where’s the cup I left here?”
“Uh! I am king now, and those who do my bidding, get the cup from me.”
“What’s your bidding, usurper?” The Monkey asked the Chimp.
“You must scratch my back until I itch no more, then you can have the cup.”
The Monkey felt so humiliated and decided he was going to teach the Chimp a forever lesson! Trust Monkeys, they know hanky panky business. It runs in the blood!
So, he rushed back down the road and roused a company of hunters and zoo agents, who had been resting in some under brush. The monkey knew they were thirsty and
they knew the Monkey always had clues. So they followed the Monkey up the road and by the time the Chimp saw them, it was too late to run, for the well’s place,
there, was plain dry field except for the hungry swarm grasses and some trees grown sparsely and “tuncho-tuncho” all around.
At the well, the men got their water cans and fetched, drinking and giving to the Monkey. So when Monkey and men had their fill, they decided to rest awhile.
All this time, the Monkey was looking up and taking off his eyes, as the Chimp kept making eyes at him, pleading him with signs not to let the men know he was there.
Shadows were getting longer, so the men decided they were going to make the night there. Soon they set up fire to make some broth! As both smoke and aroma went up,
my cousin in the tree could not help but let out a loud sneeze, “achooo!”
Looking up, the men saw one of the most awesome Chimpanzees that they had ever seen.
For cousin Chimp, there was no way out, one of the men had already aimed at him and fired a tranquilizer shot. With that, the Chimp came crashing down,
it had passed out.
By the time the Chimp came together, it was morning light and he was riding in a landrover, inside a cage. The road was bad and the old jeep tossed him here and there.
He watched as roads flied past…one, two, three, four wells, uh! He scratched his head, if only he knew there were wells ahead, with hanging cups intact!
– By: Chika Kalu Oze