The 100 sons of Samia - Part 7 - Agumen summons the termite clan
Janakwa was so distressed by the vengefulness and war-hunger of his brothers that he went,for a time, into the forest to be alone with God and Janakwa asked of god, “Great mother whose body is all and whose soul is love, please do not make my tribe into an agressor. I do not crave so much for the wealth or power of my people or for vengence against the wicked Agumen that I would trample upon the innocent bodies of Tetrapi woman and children. Nothing is more heavenly to me than peace and love between people and nothing more ignoble than violent conquest, destruction and murder”.
“Do not worry, sweet Janakwa”, said the great mother, “Your tribe will never become the bloody monster that you fear, for above all human qualities I value love most highly and thus, while I gave to each of your brothers a rare talent, to you I gave a magnificent heart, for a tribe needs a conscience as much as it needs heroes or chieftans or magic. Love is the wall that stands between humanity and the
wilderness. Without love, no spear or charm or army of any size can protect you against evil because, if you do not possess love, it means that evil has already conquered you.”
If Janakwa had shared Gods omniscience or foresight, he would not have worried because God knew that, at that moment, the Tetrapi, with the aid of an evil and unnatural force, were planning their attack upon Imekanaland.
Agumen had often dreamt of conquering the four tribes, but not, as was Samia's intention, to unite them, because a united people are strong and Agumen wanted the people whom he ruled over to be weak.
Agumen had been given a small taste of power as chief of his tribe but rather than satiating him it only made him hungry for greater power. He desired the whole world beneath his heel and he would have done anything to attain it,even abandon the god of his ancestors, the great mother, and replace her sacred groves and springs with statues of her dark opponents, the Salix or demons, which he did although he could not do it openly and so he made high obsidian walls around his evil shrines which he said were to protect the sacred groves and springs and he forbade any except his most trusted warriors, to whom he also promised power, to enter the shrines and he made an evil law that all those with sickness and deformity should be taken into the walled shrines to be killed or else they would bring a curse upon the whole tribe and when there were not enough sick or deformed people to slaughter, he made another evil law that anyone judged to be possessed by evil spirits should be taken into the walled shrines and killed and, when they were killed, their blood was poured into giant stone drinking bowls and placed in front of four giant mosquito headed demon statues as an offering in return for power and, nightly, by the light of blazing torches, he knelt before the stone Salix and pleaded with them to grant him the power to rule over the four tribes and nightly the blood would seem to magically drain from the giant bowls until one night Agumen had a terrible nightmare of a volcano rising out of the earth and spewing red-hot blood over the land of the four tribes and he heard many voices whisper “Hail to Agumen the Termite king” and, when he awoke, he and the other Tetrapi villagers were all shocked and terrified to see that a giant termite mound as great as a mountain had risen in the west, beyond the village, and, out of the mound, came marching an army of armour clad, termite-men who came and kneeled before the wicked Agumen and called him their king.
“We are the termite men. We are the biting mandibles of evil. We are the burning acid of hate. Eating away at gods world. Building a mountain of death!”, chanted the termite
warriors as they did a terrifying war dance.
But, when Shilakwa saw the evil Termite men he was filled with horror and a voice within Shilakwas head, the voice of the loving eternal mother, said: “You have lied to your family,
friends and tribe, Shilakwa but at least be true to yourself. You know that this is wrong. These Termite men have been summoned to kill your tribe; your brothers and your parents. You cannot let that happen. You must tell your people the truth. You must warn them!”.
“But”, said Shilakwa, “If I tell my tribes people what I have been doing then they will say that I am a traitor to them; they will all hate me and may even kill me. I am afraid,great mother” and saying this Shilakwa cried.
“Hide your tears Shilakwa. Hide your heart.”, said the voice of the mother, “Agumen must not see it. I know that you are afraid of telling your tribe the truth; that you are afraid of their reaction but think of what will happen if you do not warn them. Do you want to be responsible for the death of your village? Now is the real test of your courage Shilakwa. The spear that you hold is truth, so use it well”.
“Aren’t you happy young snake?”, asked Agumen of Shilakwa, putting his hand upon the boys shoulder. “Today is a glorious day. Today I have been set upon the path to power and all who have served me well shall be rewarded well. When I rule over the four tribes, Shilakwa the great traitor will become part of Agumens new ruling class. While others go hungry Shilakwa will feast. While other men make do with one wife,
Shilakwa may have twenty and when they sing songs about the great Chief Agumen, they will also mention the name of Shilakwa”.
Shilakwa gave a convincing smile and not one gleam of a tear was seen in his eyes, “I am honoured to be with you on this day, my chief”, lied Shilakwa and Agumen was satisfied by this lie.
After Shilakwa left Agumens side, he went back to his own village and he sought out the brother Janakwa because he knew that Janakwa, among all the brothers, was the most gentle and kind and understanding and he confessed everything to Janakwa and Janakwa listened patiently. “But are you telling me the whole truth now?”, asked Janakwa, “For, though I can forgive you Shilakwa, how do I know that you are not telling me a lie to serve Agumen?”.
Shilakwa burst into tears, “If you cannot trust me then what can I possibly do?”, said
Shilakwa, “Agumen and his Termite army are planning to attack and they may destroy this whole village”.
“Do not worry”, said Janakwa, “I know of a solution to your problem” and so saying, Janakwa took Shilakwa to see Quimekona and told him everything and Quimekona was very angry and wanted to beat Shilakwa but Janakwa defended Shilakwa, “Do not be too harsh upon him, I believe that he is repentant and that he has brought us a warning that will save the whole village but is there not a way of testing wether a man is lying?”.
Quimekona thought for a minute and then he produced a necklace from his medicine bag and he made Shilakwa wear the special necklace.
“The jewel which hangs from this necklace is bright green but if the wearer tells a lie it will turn black and if it turns black it will tighten quickly and strangle the person who is wearing it” and then they made Shilakwa repeat all that he had confessed earlier and he swore that he was telling the truth and swore also that he was repentant and loved his tribe above all others and while he was speaking these words the gem in the necklace did not turn black but seemed to shine an even brighter shade of green and Quimekona was satisfied that Shilakwa spoke honestly.
Then Janakwa said to Quimekona, “I knew that you were a good and forgiving soul, Quimekona but our other brothers and the rest of the village may not be so forgiving. They may want to execute poor Shilakwa for treason against the tribe which is why you must give them the warning instead. Tell them that you have divined it or foreseen it in a dream and, since you are a great medicine man, they will trust you”.
And so, Quimekona sat down with Hamaga and told him that he had foreseen the coming of Agumen and his termite army and Agumen, trusting that Quimekona was a great medicine man who could see into the future, called a war council and prepared to defend their village and Shilakwa thanked Quimekona for all he had done and whispered, “It was a fortunate thing that you possessed that magic necklace which changes the colour of its gem and strangles liars or else who would ever have believed me”.
But, giggling, Quimekona replied, “It was not a magic necklace,my brother. It was an ordinary necklace with an ordinary emerald but you did not know that and so I knew that you were telling the truth”.