Heading: Wisdom in the Jungle. (Dumb Death)
Through the valley of death, they walked. The sun had given way for darkness after several defeat of decoding the mystery of the Jungle. Dave had not only been acquainted with physical strength but also mental strength. Murphy could testify about it from his ways of reasoning. Their torchlight soared through the darkness like age-wife/”>village teenage hunters, hunting for snails.
“There..” Murphy’s torchlight shone at a hut. “I guess that’s for you, Dave. Go get whatever you want to get to save the one you love.” he instructed.
“Just like that?” Dave whispered.
“Always have it in mind that nothing good comes easily” He waved the light across his face. “Now go!”
Just then, the cry of a young girl came from a distant. Both flashed light towards the direction with a horrible glance.
“That must be Ella.” Murphy hastily matched forward for the time has come for him to end everything. Dave watched as he soared through the darkness leaving him standing by the but all alone. Something within him said he wasn’t gonna see his teacher again. So he ran after him and called in a loud voice, “Teacher Murphy!!”
Murphy stopped. He flashed his torchlight back to Dave running after him. Thunder struck with bright lightening at the moment and a heavy rain began to pour like a water-fall. Well soaked by the rain, Dave approached closer to his teacher.
“What is it, Dave?” he asked him.
“I want to follow you wherever you go!” Dave raised his voice over the sound of a rumbling thunder. “I’m afraid, Murphy.. I’m afraid to lose you.” he swallowed hard, allowing the droplet of the rain drop from his face as he stared at Murphy who had become emotional by his words. He placed his two hands on his shoulder, returned the gaze and blew off droplet that covered his lips.
“Dave, son of Ferdinand!” he began loudly. “Behold a plantain plantation. What do you see?!”
Dave remained quiet for the question was rhetorical.
Murphy continued with bitterness and alacrity. “I heard of an invading, vanquishing army, sweeping across the land liquid-quick; conquering everything, quelling resistance. With it came darkness, dimming the light. Humans hid in their houses, while outside spears pierced, shattering stone walls. Uncountable soldiers smashed into the ground, but each elicited life as he died. When the army had vanished, advancing northward, the land was gree and growing, refresh.” he paused. That was the same riddle teacher used on him before he died. How would Dave know that?
“Murphy, what is it that you’re saying?” he whispered bitterly.
“Go, for I am with you. Don’t be afraid of anything or anybody for fear is in the mind of the weak, and a weakling is vulnerable to death.” he concluded. They hugged warmly, still hearing Ella’s voice. Murphy left him to continue his pace as Dave watched him silently. “Goo!” he shouted from a distance before Dave realized himself and went back to the hut. Hence both went their separate ways for their missions in the Jungle of Agura weren’t the same too.
Murphy matched brake when he couldn’t hear the voice anymore. Lightening from the sky collaborated with the ray of his torchlight to bring wet green leaves and dark places to visibility. The boy roamed around like a gengering wrestler until a light shone on Daniella from above. Murphy sighted her where she hung in the air, seeming unconscious by unseen force.
“Ella!” Murphy tried to run to her, but lo and behold the ground greatly demarcated between them like an earthquake and a bright light soared from it. He looked up to see three trees standing above the demarcated ground. On what are they standing? He wondered. He looked at his right-hand-side to see thirteen pasturing sheeps like Abraham at the sacrificial alter of Isaac, his son. Suddenly, an unknown cowboy rode a horse from behind in a way he nearly pushed him down. Murphy staggered away, seeing the number ’13’ on the body of the horse as they fell into the open ground thereby taking away the bright light, hence more darkness emerged with a strike of thunder. Everything was happening so fast and strangely. Within a twinkle of an eye, the horse came out of the ground and gallop away but the three trees were nowhere to be found again. Murphy didn’t need a prophet to be told that what happened was a jungle mystery he needed to decode. No statement attached to it thus making it more complicated. Where would he start?
Already the young boy had totally been soaked by rain. He tried to think but his mind was as wet as his body. Therefore putting his minds together became a difficult task. Nevertheless, he pulled his shirt, tore his singlet and began to observe everything from the 13 sheeps to the disappeared trees. “The same number of sheep is the same number on the body of the horse. What does that mean?” he began cleverly. “The sheeps are pasturing.. eating.. like they are eating supper..” she stood at a spot with a finger on his lips. Swiftly, he spoke up boldly, “Yes, supper! According to biblical tradition, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles… am I making sense? Oh no..” he lamented bitterly, rubbing his head vigorously.
Murphy sat down not only like a refugee but also like an apprehended criminal. He focused on Ella’s image that seemed lifeless across the demarcated ground. Though he was staring at her but his senses wasn’t in her, just like his body was there but his spirit was not with him. Obviously, it was a difficult mystery to be decoded.
After a series of silence, he stood up like a soldier! “No..” he began silently. “The point is not the number of guest but the day of the supper which was on maundy Thursday. The next day, of course, was Good Friday. Which day is relevant here; Thursday or Friday?” he asked rhetorically with a glance at the demarcated ground. “Friday, I guess.”
“So how come the number ’13’ on the horse?” a voice came from the dark. However, the rain had stopped but thunder never stopped to rumble.
“Are you deaf?!” Murphy shouted at whosoever that owns the voice. “I said it’s not about the number but the day which can be numbered. The cowboy rode into the ground… ground? No, the demarcated ground represent city or town, so the cowboy rode to town and… and…” he hit his head with a punch, walking tro and fro. “The bright light went off along with the three trees which means the cowboy spent three nights… Friday.. Friday.. Oh my God!” Murphy exclaimed. “Its not just a mystery, it’s a riddle. It’s a riddle!!” his voice echoed hoping that he had decoded the mystery, but nothing happened.
Everywhere went dead except the rumbling thunder.
“What riddle do you speak off?” the voice came again.
Murphy looked up and said with a loud voice, “Thus says the riddle: A cowboy rides to town on a day, and stays there 3 nights. He came back on that same day.” he bent his head to think for a while before raising it up saying, “The day is Friday. Therefore a cowboy rides to town on Friday, and stays there 3 nights. He came back on that Friday.”
“How is this possible?”
“Is not possible”
“But you’ve seen it with your eyes and interpreted it with your mouth.”
Murphy kept reasoning silently. “At this point, we are neither talking about the number ’13’ nor the day, ‘friday’. We are talking about the means of transportation by the cowboy to the town. When you replace ‘Friday’ with ‘a horse’ on that riddle, you’ll see that Friday is not a day as used on the riddle but the name of the horse. Therefore the cowboy rides to town on a horse (friday), and stays there 3 nights. He came back on that horse (Friday). It is possible because the name of the horse is Friday.”
Instantly, everything disappeared except Danialla who had fallen on the ground. She opened her eyes gradually, staggered up like a drunkard to see nobody except biomass. She wore a polo shirt over a black elastic leggings.
“Hello, somebody help me!” she began to run in the darkness but stumbled on Murphy’s torchlight. He picked it up and shouted again. “Is anyone here!”
However, Murphy was nowhere to be found.
On the other hand, inside the hut, Dave battles with a statement by a strange man who stood at a corner with an artifact in his hand. He could only see the man in the hut, nothing else. In fact, he wondered if actually he was inside a shelter or not.
“Get the yam you seek to get the yam” the strange man repeated his statement for Dave to decode.
“Of course I have to get the yam I seek” he murmured, applying his thinking faculty as trained by his teacher. He looked up to the man saying, “There are two sentences in that one sentence. I have to do something to get the yam… yam…” he repeated slowly. “What must I do?” he began soliloquizing. “There are two ‘YAM’ in the sentence. One is read backward to get ‘MAY’.” he spoke out loudly. “For me to get the yam i must ask for it using MAY thereby making YAM appear once in the sentence. Therefore I ask, May I get the yam I seek for?”
“Let it be done as you’ve spoken”
Dave did not only find himself outside the hut, but also saw a yam in his hand. “I did it! Murphy!!” he exclaimed. He saw someone running towards him. “Murphy, I did it!” he added when the person approached only to be disappointed to see Ella instead of Murphy.
“Dave, what are you doing here?” Ella asked him.
“Ella, where is Murphy!” he returned the question.
“I don’t know!”
Dave glanced at her hand. “But you’re with his torchlight!”
“I picked it from the ground. I believe this is the mysterious Jungle of Agura where you’ve come to defeat an owl of death.” Ella said.
Dave became surprise. “How do you know that?” he asked.
“Come, follow me now or we are dead!” she dragged him by the hand, both running like escaped inmates. Ella continued on their way. “I had a transfiguration about this. Only me know where and what to do!”
“Murphy figured it out before now. That’s why he saved you!”
“He is a genius!”
Dave stopped to catch his breath, looking at Ella. “He is more than a genius. That’s why we must not leave him behind.” he said gasping.
“I swear, Dave, I don’t know where he is. I never set my eyes on him. If we don’t do this fast, everybody in the city won’t be the only people to die, we will also taste the wrath of death.”
They gazed at a moment then began running again. Their torchlight haphazardly paved at different path of the jungle. Truly, they defeated the owl of death..
Day had broken. It was the hour Murphy said the tragedy would stop. Truly, it had stopped a few minute before the hour. Nobody rejoiced because the awaited clever president had not returned neither had his follower, Dave did. Therefore tension arose in the city and in the white house where Obi, Ada, Vivian and Judith patiently waited with heart of quam. Surprisingly, cars engine, through the air wave from outside, traveled to their ears drums.
Vivan looked at Obi instantly likewise others. Vivian and Judith wanted to run outside but Obi’s voice prevented them.
“Both of you should stay put” he had said.
So they have it, the front door cracked opened. Daniela and Dave entered, followed by other security men with guns. Judith forcefully hugged Dave with tears of joy while others did same with Ella. Yet, Vivian expected to see Murphy just like everyone else but he never showed up. She broke down in tears.
“What happened to him?” she cried with others. She had to hold Dave on the shirt saying, “Go and bring back my husband.”
“Is a pity he couldn’t make it back. I don’t know how it happened.” Dave replied in tears.
“Dave is not dead” Obi spoke up. His statement was like a pain killer and a releaving pill to every soul in the room. “Get the journalist. Wanna address the public” he instructed.
Ella and Dave glanced at each other. How could someone at home know about the disappearance of someone in the jungle? They wondered.
Obi stood before the public. His image appeared in every television in the country at large. All expected him to reveal the way about of their teacher or announce his return. “People of Kali!” he began with a loud voice. “I stand here to preach the clever way of teacher Murphy who had once again defeated the dead. I made a promise to death itself to have him killed in the jungle, but how can i take the life of my own brother. The man-owl said I must not let him come back from the Jungle. I held him by his words, that’s why teacher Murphy hasn’t come back.”
“What’s he talking about?” people began to murmur.
“Before the journey, I codedly told Murphy the plans of what tormented us” Obi continued..
The night before the journey to the Jungle, A guard brought a letter to Murphy where he was having a quiet time. The guard did not only give him the letter but also whispered into his ears. Murphy opened the letter and read thus: “Though the sun is the ultimate but it goes down sometimes, giving way for soldier ants to save for the day before it rises again, so desired by darkness.”
Murphy stood up. “Obi knows what Erika does too” he began to murmur. “I am the sun. Darkness, according to the letter is death which so much desire for me to die. But I have to play dead in the Jungle to allow Ella save us from the suicidal death since she has the solution. That’s the meaning of the sun is the ultimate but it goes down sometimes, giving way for soldier ants to save for the day. Then after that, I, the sun will rise again after the death owl has been defeated” he smiled…..
“I believe our teacher was able to decode the letter!” Obi continued. “The man-owl didn’t want him to return, forgetting that Murphy is not the one to end him, and when he is ended, he will be nowhere to torment either me or anyone else. That’s where he was stupid. I even sent men to the entrance of the jungle just to confuse him the more. So now that we’ve defeated him, lo and behold our president! our teacher and our knowledge and wisdom!!” he pointed at a car that just arrived and Murphy came out from it shirtless.
There was an uproar in the country. Many wanted to go hug him but guards didn’t let anyone. Murphy heroically stepped closer to his fellow cabinet. He first hugged his wife before others. Obi hugged him then left the stage for him.
“Where is Cynthia?” Ella asked Ada.
“Cynthia is gone” she replied, shaking her head.
Ella understood, she ran inside the house and wept bitterly.
Murphy stood before flashing cameras and summarized his impromptu speech in one sentence. “To be dumb is to be dead and knowledge is not just power but life!” he walked inside while shout and clap filled the city.
Murphy, Dave and Ella found their biological parents. Obi married Erika while Ada found love later. Judith and Dave also tied the knot and had twins. Only Ella remained unmarried.
Vivian divorced Murphy after bearing him a male child due to sadomasochism. Many years later, the child grew up to a man in the hands of another teacher then he challenged his father, Murphy, cleverly and won his presidential seat. Hence he was the brightest star teacher Nwachukwu foresaw.
Heading: Wisdom in the Jungle. (Dumb Death)