The Full Moon
by Samdi Lazarus Musa
The gods holds court at full moon. I never knew this until I stepped out one night alone while my children were asleep I was looking at the moon while on my bed when I felt the urge to get out of bed and really look at it properly. I went out. As soon as I lifted my head up an overwhelming force pulled me off from this earth to the palace of the gods. I arrived there in my loin-cloth to the jeers of a few of the messengers of the gods. I was taken to the Almighty. He looked at me and said, 'I am about to do a mighty thing. I want to relocate different children around the earth to different places. It will happen in the afternoon. All children will be given wings to fly to different places decided by me and shall be given different mothers.
I protested vehemently but the Almighty would not listen. He continued: 'I have decided that two of your children shall be sent to an Afrikaner's family in South Africa. The other two will be sent to Alaska. You will be given children from those parts of the world. Love them and take good care of them.
I had fainted before he completed his speech, and eventually jolted back to consciousness by the screams of a white man whose children were to go to the Pygmies in Congo, right in the heart of black Africa. The white man and I were both sent back to earth next morning. Our way back we saw millions of babies of all nationalities flying across the sky on their little wings. They all seemed happy, singing and shaking hands as they headed for their various destinations.
It was surprisingly quiet on earth, as all the mothers across the world prepared to receive their new children. The babies from Alaska came wrapped in animal skins so thick that we feared they may suffocate or die of heat stress under the African sun. They were all quickly stripped of the furs and dressed in loin-cloths. All the babies drank milk like our children. We gave them new names. I gave my Alaskan boy the name Audu and the Afrikaner became Garba. Audu turned out to be a good hunter and fisherman; Garba became a farmer of repute.
On the thirty-fifth year following the great relocation, I was taken again to meet the Almighty. I met again the white man whose children had been sent to Congo. We were both told the same things: 'Your children will be returned to you but they will not go of their own accord. Go and tell them to go.' I felt a lump in my throat. I loved my two boys so much, so also the white man loved his children, and he had suddenly gone pale.
I had given the two boys tribal marks on their cheeks and foreheads and wondered what the reactions of the parents would be when they go back to their different countries. Moreover, they were now married and had children of their own. We found it difficult to call them either Africans or Eskimos or Afrikaners. When I reached earth and told them to go as instructed by the Almighty, they refused. They said they were citizens of the earth and that the earth belonged to them.
Story Copyright © 2008 by Samdi Lazarus Musa. All rights reserved.
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About the author
Samdi Lazarus Musa, from Maiduguri, Borno State, is a Research Fellow in Entomology/Parasitology in a Medical Research Institute. The Full Moon was previously broadcast on BBC World Service.