The 100 sons of Samia - Part 4 - The Quest of the third quarter
Numandwa and Agajona had bickered ever since they were infants because out of all the hundred sons of Samia, they were the least humble.
Numandwa was overly proud of his enormous intellect and Agajona of being the greatest warrior in the history of the four tribes and so it was little surprise to the rest of the brothers that they bickered over who would find the great Chirimoya first or which direction they should take.
“You should use that brain of yours to compose an epic poem about the exploits of the great Agajona of Imekanaland”, said Agajona.
“What is so special about fighting and hunting? The lower beasts do it all the time.”, said Numandwa, “What this world needs is intelligent, rational heros who solve the real problems that face everyone like sickness,famine and war. I intend to do all three of these and, when I am finished, people will sing songs about me”.
“The only songs that they’ll sing about Numandwa will be insulting ones”, said Agajona, “Call yourself clever? I have never heard such nonsense! The world always needs mighty warriors as its heroes, to inspire ordinary men, to slay dragons, win wars, find treasure and rescue maidens”.
“I can slay dragons,win wars,find treasure and rescue maidens much better than you my brother, using my brain”, said Numandwa.
“I will believe that when I see it”, said Agajona, laughing.
Numandwa was greatly irritated by Agajonas laughter and was just about to shout out his angry reply when the brothers heard a terrible roaring sound and saw, infront of them, an enormous scaly dragon appear.
“A dragon”, said Agajona, “Now you will see, my brother, what a true hero can do”, and Agajona ran towards the dragon with his spear and thrust it into the dragons side but to his amazement the spear went right through the dragon as if through smoke or water. “I do not understand”,said Agajona “my spear is useless against it”.
“Wait!”, said Numandwa, “I recognize the markings on that dragon and I do not think it is a dragon at all” and searching around the giant lizards foot, Numandwa found a much smaller lizard crawling on the ground and, when he picked the lizard up, the dragon disappeared, “You see, it was only a tiny green lizard”, explained Numandwa, “But there is some strange trick of the light here that made it appear gigantic”.
Agajona grabbed the tiny lizard and threw it away angrilly, “Bah!”, he said, “If it had been a real dragon then it would have been I who slayed it”.
Suddenly, the two brothers heard a woman scream and, running towards the source of the scream, they saw a woman bound within the bottom part of a giant hourglass and, from the top of the hourglass, sand was slowly pouring down a grain at a time.
“What a hideous construction”, said Agajona, “Who could have created such a thing?”
“It might be an enormous hourglass, a day-long glass, built by several men or it might be a giants hourglass built by a giant to measure out a giants hour which is equal to a human day, I do not know”, said Numandwa, “but judging by the size of it, the ammount of sand left in the upper half of the glass and the rate at which the grains of sand are falling, I would say that it was built about twenty four human hours ago and that the woman has only one such hour left before the sand completely covers her and suffocates her”.
“Then it is gods gracious will that we did not arrive here an hour later”, said Agajona
walking quickly towards the giant hourglass.
“Wait!”, said Numandwa pointing towards the top of the hourglass, “The moment that you started walking towards the hourglass, I noticed that the ammount of sand falling increased. I believe that the thing is designed so that the closer one gets to it, the faster the sands of time run down. Before your first step she had an hour left to live but now I judge that she only has half that”.
“Why can’t anything be simple!”, growled Agajona, “In trying to save the woman I might have accidentally killed her”.
“There may be another way”, said Numandwa, “The walls of the hourglass can still be broken from a distance”, and saying this, Numandwa picked up a rock that was lying on the ground and hurled it at the hourglass and the glass broke and the sand in the lower half poured out onto the floor and the brothers were then able to safely approach and untie the woman inside.
“Merciful mother be praised”, said the woman, “I thought that I would never be rescued. Thank you,oh thankyou!”.
“But who was it that placed you inside this terrible hourglass?”, asked Agajona.
“The giant Bragwa who controls this part of the nameless jungle. A giant child, he was once one of the infants of my tribe but one night an evil star fell from the sky and into his cot, and he started to suck upon the star and, when he did, he began to grow in size and intelligence until he became an evil monster who now torments humans for his amusement. He stole me from my tribe and put me into that giant hourglass”, said the woman who then introduced herself as Wajina.
“And this giant also created the illusion of the dragon that was a magnified lizard?”,
“That is probably right. The giant likes to make things, cruel things to torture us”, said Wajina, “It has a gigantic body,enormous strength and a vast brain but its heart is as miniscule as a pebble with only enough space inside it to contain self-love”.
“Worry not. Beautiful lady”, said Agajona, “I will kill your giant, for I am Agajona, the greatest warrior in the four tribes and a giant among men”.
“A giant oaf,you may be”, said Numandwa, “No single man or spear can kill a giant but nature shows us how the small kills the great, how the ant or bee colony, serpent or scorpion kills a man with powerful venom. This is how we must kill Bragwa”.
“You may make up your venom, brother, but it is only I who can deliver the fatal sting”, insisted Agajona.
Numandwa agreed to this, for though he was many times smarter than his brother Agajona; he was not an eighth as brave or as skillfull with a spear and so, while Agajona and his brothers practiced how they would attack the giant Bragwa,
Numandwa enlisted the aid of Wajinas tribe, called the Oomwa or “creation” tribe, to collect all the venomous things which they could, “every poisonous herb and fruit and flower, every stinging bee and scorpion, ant, spider, toad,jelly fish or venomous serpent that you can catch”, ordered Numandwa, “We will mix all their varied poisons together and make the deadliest and strongest venom that there has ever been and make enough to fell a giant”.
And when the incredible poisonous mixture was ready, Agajona and his brothers dipped their spears into it and their arrow heads and a great cauldron full of it was carried by ten men, during the dark hours after sunset, to where the giant Bragwa slept within a giant hut made from boulders and, crawling up close to him, they used the giants hairs as ropes to climb on to his head.
“Now is our opportunity”, said Numandwa, “While the giant sleeps, we must pour the whole cauldron into his gaping mouth”.
But, while the brothers were standing upon the giants chin, tipping the poisonous mixture down into the giants throat, a giant louse that lived in the giants beard crept up behind them and Agajona had to fight off the hideous creature with his spear and shield.
Luckily, the poison upon Agajonas spear worked aswell upon monster lice as it did giant humans and the louse rolled over onto its back and, squirming,died but just as the louse stopped living the Giant opened its eyes, awoken by the pain of the poison creeping through its body and it was like an earthquake had started under the feet of Agajona and his brothers and, afraid of falling into the giants mouth, they
Let the cauldron go and it plummeted down into the dark well of the giants throat.
“Garrgh!”,said the giant, his enormous right eye fixing upon one of the brothers who was running away from a tear that was flowing over the giants left cheek, “You think that you can hurt me. I’ll squash your bodies with my thumbs. I’ll trample on your villages and put your women and children into a stew”.
As the giant started to rise to its feet, Agajonas brothers were all so terrified that they
leapt off of his head and tumbled to the ground, as if rolling down a hill, but Agajona was fearless and held on to a necklace of human skulls which hung like beads around the giants throat and climbing up over the giants face, stabbed his spear into one of the giants eyes and was almost made deaf by the giants scream of pain , a scream as loud as a volcano erupting and the giant clutched its eye,staggering out of its stone hut and down to Lake Konoko.
“I am crawling in men!”, screamed the giant, “I will take a bath and drown them all”, and Agajona would have drowned if it were not for the trunk of an uprooted Infanka tree that seemed to float by just in time. Agajona held onto the trunk of the tree and floated safely towards the lake shore while, behind him, the giant fell, like a mountain collapsing, into lake konoko and, as he fell, the force of his impact caused an enormous tidal wave that swept all the way to the Azurian desert.
For an hour the brothers and tribes people waited to see if the giant, which now lay like an island in the middle of the great lake, would move, unsure if it was really dead or just acting, but when an hour had passed, Numandwa and the chief of the tribe rowed out in a canoe and climbing onto the giants chest they knelt and listened for
A heart beat but heard nothing and so Numandwa declared, “The Giant, Bragwa is dead”.
That night Wajinas tribe celebrated their victory over the evil giant Bragwa with a gigantic feast and finally Numandwa and Agajona looked at each other with equal respect, “Hail to the hero Agajona”, said Numandwa, “And his courage which brought the evil giant low”.
“No,no, hail to the genius of Numandwa”, said Agajona, “And his miraculous venom that gave his brothers their fatal sting”.
And, smiling, both knew that they could now return home because they had found, together, the great Chirimoya.