THE CALL

In the 21st century, everything is fast. The brain is taught to assimilate information quickly, the car is designed to run fast on roads, and little children are given a computer at cradle as a certificate of welcome to the fast-paced world. Everything is fast! The ship is built to navigate faster on water, the aeroplane now moves faster on air. The way everything is programmed has made humans believe one must make haste with everything in life.

Peace was the name of the leader of the doves in the animal kingdom. The doves were of different kinds of colour: white, grey, black, golden, indigo, green, and black. These doves were called by their different colours. Peace, the silver dove and the leader of the doves had observed the world of the humans on earth–its crazy speed to nothingness.  She announced that the doves were going to carry out a test in the human kingdom where swiftness always seems an advantage. The earth is a place where human run to nowhere, here humans run as fast but move too slow. One morning, the silver bird called all the birds together.

“I have come to observe how everything in the human world runs fast. Humans only see the advantage of fastness and not its side effects. Was it not some days ere tthat I saw a bus speeding too fast and I watch it plunge humans into the River Niger and Benue? No one survived. The other day I saw a car speeding so fast that it knocked down some innocent schoolchildren on Tree Street, Forest Zone 1. And just last week, I saw a bald headed rich man giving his 4 years old son his Mac computer to operate all in the name of indoctrinating the child with the philosophy of the fast world. The human world pours chemicals on the ground, all in the name of having a quick harvest, send atomic bombs to other countries, all in the name of killing other humans as fast as possibl, fumble with dangerous rockets in preparation for days of war. The humans do serious damage to their world and ours too. The hunter has a gun, just to shoot at us and other animals in our kingdom.”

The white bird had been listening with keen attention and had so many questions on his mind. But he had no choice but to ask only one. He proceeded:

“How do we teach humans that being fast is not evidence of progress? “

“That is an intelligent question,” the silver dove retorted, “humans have to be taught the fact that swiftness isn’t everything.”

“And that fastness is not always an advantage. Its disadvantages are even more,” the grey dove quipped.

“I have a suggestion,” chipped in the golden bird, “we have to devise a means of testing the patience of humans. And we can only do this by making ourselves too slow to take off from the ground within Kofo Estate. We need to test how the patience of humans are on a non-busy road within Kofo estate, in the human kingdom,” she said.

The other doves love golden bird’s suggestion, except the black bird who had a different ideology. He believes that if humans have learnt to always be too fast, then they in the animal kingdom should learn to do same and not be looking for how they would change humans that are resolute and unchanging in their fast world. Silver bird dismissed the meeting for them to reconvene and take a decision but before they go they have to sing the animal kingdom anthem, which goes thus:

Fast but slow, fast but slow

The human kingdom Is fast but slow

Doing harm to nature

Killing themselves, killing us

Slow but fast, slow but fast

The animal kingdom believes

The human saying, ‘more speed, less haste. ‘

Slow but fast, slow but fast

The animal kingdom is slow but fast

After singing their anthem, all the birds dispersed but met the following morning to determine who is going to go to the human kingdom to test the patience of man in a fast world. A decision was taken the next day and the decision was that the green bird would go carry out the task in the human kingdom together with other birds. And the man whom the birds had chosen for their test is Mr Swifty-sweet.

Mr Swifty-sweet was a man who loved doing everything speedily. He wakes fast, rushes his breakfast, drives speedily and everything goes hurriedly throughout the day. Mr Swifty-sweet doesn’t get back early from work as his son and daughter were always fast asleep before he comes back.

The birds, with the green bird, have decided they would test just how fast Mr Swifty-sweet was one afternoon. That afternoon Mr Swifty-sweet forgot an important document at home because of the haste with which he prepared for work that morning and drove back home.

“Dear did you see any document in the bedroom?”  he asked his wife.

“No dear, I didn’t come across any document; possibly you misplaced it due to your haste in the morning,” the wife replied

“What are you insinuating?  Are you saying it is a crime to rush down to work?” He fires.

“No dear, that was not what I meant; you blow things out of proportion,” the wife replied calmly.

Mr swifty-sweet ignored his wife and kept looking for the lost files until he found them somewhere on the dining table. He had kept them there while eating breakfast. He picked them up quickly and dashed out as usual without telling his wife goodbye. Then, he jumped into his big jeep and sped off.

Meanwhile other doves with the green dove were already on the road in the estate where Swifty-sweet lives. He put his foot hard on the gas pedal. The intention of the dove was to make him slow down as she wants to measure his level of patience. As he moves closer, other doves got very afraid and flew off, leaving the green dove to her fate.

Mr swifty-sweet would not slow down and the green dove was too slow to take off; he was too fast to stop his big jeep as he ran over the green dove. The green dove battled to keep her life but she couldn’t, she shook and shook and gave up with tongues, lungs, and eyes bulging out. While the dove was writhing in pain, Mr Swifty-Sweet had gotten to his office, not knowing he has killed a dove right in his estate.

Mrs Slow-steady watched as her bird was being killed in broad daylight light by a careless human who wasn’t observant enough to know he has killed her innocent green dove that was only a victim of the experimentation of the animal world.

She sobbed, mourning her dead bird as she ordered her guards to give the bird a befitting burial. After the burial she wrote a letter to the king of the human kingdom. The letter was titled: THE CALL:

I

Call

to

hang

a cross

Not of vanity

But of purity on the necks

Of all mankind.

Fishes

for

water

And water for fishes

Not fishes in black water

But pure water as habitation

For all our fishes.

I woke

And saw the damage of the trees

No home for our birds

Isn’t it trees for birds?

And birds for trees

For us to hear the call at dawn

And not to be without a sign?

What is this that we call modernity?

Rendering creatures with home homeless

I, a part of nature

Recall the romantic order

And salute the caretakers

Of nature before the face of spoilers

It is human for nature

And nature for human

Not any to dominate the other

For when God said, ‘…have dominion…’

He doesn’t imply, damage using dagga and knives

And tractors of all kinds of blades

But to take care of even the most feeble

Of nature and therefore ourselves

You damage the ozone layers

With black smokes from forests and pipes

Forgetting that it is

The sky for the earth and the earth for the sky

Why should flood carry us all away before the last call?

Yet we keep living with deaf ears

To nature’s great call

I

call

to

hang

a cross

Not of vanity

But of purity on the neck of nature itself and us

For maturation

Into

a

peaceful

co–existence.

“The Call” was heeded by the king as he immediately ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of Mr Swifty-sweet, for the cruel death of Mrs slow-steady’s innocent green dove. All the birds in the animal kingdom were present during Swifty-sweet’s trial in the court. They all testified against him as most of them were present when the incident happened or heard about the incident. Mr Swifty-sweet was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. As the animals walked out of the court room, they sang their anthem again.

Fast and slow, fast but slow

The human kingdom Is fast but slow

Doing harm to nature

Killing themselves, killing us

Slow and slow, slow and slow

The animal kingdom believes

The human saying, ‘more speed, less haste. ‘

Slow and slow, slow but fast

The animal kingdom is slow but fast

Meanwhile, the king had enacted a law in the human kingdom that “THE CALL” must be heeded by every human so that there would be peaceful co-existence between humans and animals in the world.

Facebook::Taiye Paul Kolawole

Gmail: kolawoletaiye@gmail.com

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