Baboon Prayed.

The title of this story could intrigue many people who are believers and non-believers. It is a story that touched the elderly and the young generation in the community where I grew up as they watched the animal with awe on its deathbed. It was the summer of 1983, I was very young but I could still recall the events that unfolded on a particular Saturday morning.  My brothers and other boys in the village had gone out to the gardens, which were more than a mile from the village. On their way a bunch of dogs followed them, giving them some companionship and also


 the boys believing that the dogs can hunt anything lying in the bushes.

Thirty minutes aterf their departure. I heard the yelling voices and dogs barking from the nearby hills and mountains.  With so much curiosity building up inside me I searched for an open space so that I could investigate the cause of commotion in the mountains. Once I found the spot I spotted some young and senior boys running in the mountains as they dodged the sharp-pointed stones and thick prickling branches. They were running after their dogs. So what was the catch? It was the baboon that the dogs were after and the dogs had dominated the battleground.  Like gangsters the dogs attacked the baboon viciously but the single male baboon fought back like a wounded buffalo and making sure its sharp-edged teeth sank deep like a  lion.

 It was a blood battle and the blood oozed from both animals leaving behind some blood stained marks on tree branches, stones and the dried grass. There were times when the baboon got so many chances to escape away with its life but alas every loophole was blocked by each single dog.  It was cornered and out numbered. The situation became more difficult for the baboon as the cheering of human beings escalated. I must have cried as I felt a wet drop landing on the ground where I stood.  I looked around before I wiped my tears away with the back of my hand. I saw my mum, father and other elderly couples going towards the edge of the nearby mountains. The dogs and the lads were still chasing the baboon. I sympathised with the baboon but there was no help I could offer to escape from the jaws of its enemies.

Eventually the baboon gave up the fight and decided to climb a nearby tree. It was neither big nor a small tree but good enough for it to lay down its head as it gave up its life. Blood was drenching everywhere. I looked for the dogs and all the dogs that I saw were all wounded: from minor to bigger scars. Some dogs chins were deeply skinned off and hence exposing their teeth. It was those last moments that the baboon’s final actions on the time of its death astonished everybody who attended to it. It lifted up its hands in the air and put its palms together and bring closer to its countenance or face. It closed its eyes and the baboons lips moved silently. It breathed the last air and passed away. It is the praying hands position that it made a good headline. A baboon prayed on the time of its death. The phrase became permanently registered in people’s minds and it became a talk on everybody’s lips. If a baboon, a wild animal could worship God on its deathbed. What of human beings who were given dominion over the animals?

 With this message I narrated to you I say it is just food for thought.


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