King Gyaas commanded his soldiers to fire at Watcher. The soldiers obeyed with passion, scattering Watcher like dried leaf grinded into dust. Ntat shivered and barely managed to cage her cry of disgust and disappointment. We must live in harmony indeed! She thought. We are all together as one indeed! Her thoughts made her weep within but she crawled out of the porcupine killer and made her way out of The Palace before Gyaas could calm down. Steam was coming out of his nostrils and mouth as he puffed like one who just fought and conquered multitudes of enemies. His eyes shone in victory and still had lasers of intentions to extinct his enemies. His family looked on without batting an eye. The porcupines who felt bad for scattering Watcher wore uncertain countenances which were cleared after the spears of warning which were clearly sent from the pupils of King Gyaas which was obviously fully dilated.
Ntat did not know what to make of the information and what was seen. She dug a hole and hid in it for some time before making it to her family. When she told her mother about what had happened, her mother told her father and together, they went to the head of ant to lodge a complaint. The head of ant furiously went to see King Gyaas. No one knew what was discussed but before everyone knew what was happening, the head of ants, Archer, owned one hundred anthills filled with foods that could feed thousands of ants for over ten years in river areas. Ntat and her family disappeared from the Jungle kingdom but an interesting thing happened; Archer’s wife, Armaah, and their children also disappeared. Armaah’s description was on the lips of all the animals. Archer searched frantically for his family without success. So rich he had become materialistically, but very poor in relations, so he begun to drink.
Meanwhile all the animals were yet to see the improvement they were promised. Some complained but did not have the bravery to say it to the face of the king. There was a rumour walking the length and breadth of Jungle Kingdom that Watcher was murdered by the king for saying something he was not supposed to say causing his family to flee from Jungle Kingdom. Animals who fell within the game zones of carnivores got missing day after day. The Palace took reports but did nothing about them.
Famine and drought became more serious than they had ever experienced. Some animals were bold enough to march to The Palace to send their grievances but were beaten to a pulp. Later that day, Lion Gyaas scheduled a meeting for the next three days. All animals in the jungle were supposed to make it or face sanctions. The animals did not know what to make of this.
“Is he now ordering us when he promised to be our equals?” Goat Owar asked
The head of domestic cats; Silio, just blinked in confusion but before anyone could say jack dog exclaimed:
“Ei! So you are here bleating foul things about our king? This one, barking alone won’t help, it must be followed by a formal report”
So saying, dog left for The Palace but no one will grant him entry. So Dog Servio went back to his house, took a bath and went back there, saying he wanted to be the humble servant of the king. His family and himself.
King Gyaas was happy, at least he had animals who willingly offered their services. The king granted Servio an audience and was angrily pleased with him.
Silio and Owar were arrested and sent to King Gyaas at midnight. It was then that Bat Bright understood what Watcher said. He had seen them hunt for animals in the night but had never seen them take two different animals of the day from their fence and boarding at night. What was he to make of this? He knew so well that Watcher was murdered because he voiced out what he saw. Was he ready to be arrested and torn apart like Watcher?
The families of Silio and Owar followed them to the Palace but were left in front of the gate. The king who sat on the skin of an elephant had dogs kneeling by his side. Immediately he saw Silio and Owar, he walked menacingly on all fours and slapped them in turns with his paws. Their skins cried with blood as their bodies shook.
“So you Goa had the impudence to speak ill of me? And you cat, nature made us alike no matter your small frame. We are in the same circles but you decided to eat grass and mix it with any meat you get. That does not make us different. Because dog here says you said nothing, I will contain it. But he did also say he saw your face, and you agreed with what that idiotic goat said. I know no matter what I say, you will not open your mouth to mew. The fact that you are not looking at me with disdain and are shivering is enough. Goat will be used to appease me. And you must leave Jungle Kigdom before sunset, with your immediate family, or face my wrath”
Dog barked in concurrence the whole time, even to the disdain of the porcupine soldiers. Silio said in his head “So this is how stooges look?” and watched dog as much as he could before leaving the palace.
He heard goat scream loudly as he got to the main door and heard the exciting cravings of the little lions as their parents broke into the bones of Owar.
When he stepped out, he told the two families what had transpired, apologized to the family of Owar and asked his immediate family to prepare to set off. Owar’s family bleated so much that the porcupines came out and shot at them. Sileo stood on a rock and looked down one last time as the carcasses of Owar’s family were being dragged into the palace and jumped to lead his family out of Jungle Kingdom.
The next day, all animals in the Jungle Kingdom converged in front of the palace. Porcupines could be seen everywhere. Even hyenas and most of the high classed carnivores were seated on a mounted bamboo platform as King Gyaas took his time to dress. Nightingales and other sweet voiced animals sang melodious tunes in praise of King Gyaas as the birds with stronger feathers fanned the people seated at the high table. Foods could be seen there while the skinny physiques of all animals, including elephants graced the animal crowd. The sun also sat on its highest spot, throwing heat into the animal kingdom. Suddenly, all animals were asked to stand up and welcome their king. Something everyone did even before questioning in their heads. Guy giraffe was shocked that after all the time he took to dress, King Gyaas looked as mean as an angry mad cow but he was careful to keep this to himself as the cows sat next to him.
King Gyaas sat on the most beautiful part of the high table flanked by his peers. The high table was decorated with flowers with scents so pleasant. Most of the animals were confused. What are flowers to a lion? But all they could do was murmur. Then he sat on his hind legs and addressed the standing crowd:
“To begin, I will tell you I will not tolerate it if any of you speak ill of me. To the cats, I say, Cat Silio and his family have been banished from Jungle Kingdom for betraying the king of your land. Goat Owar and his family lost their lives for committing treason. Well, Owl Watcher too. That I am your king does not give you the right to malign me. You all know that it is difficult to come by water nowadays because of the weather. I did all that I could to boost the water levels but it just dawned on me that I am no God. So the palace is in a water crisis. For your king to think and think well, he needs food and water. Due to the grass I have been taking, my furs are growing thin. There is nothing I can do right now but to go back to carnivorism. Herbivorism, no matter how appropriate, is not for my kind. I think words are best said but deeds grant us the opportunity to experience what is workable and what is not. Honesty is better than dishonesty. So please understand me and help me live instead of dying. I do not want you to grumble so to be fair, all animals within my game zone will present one of their kinds to The Palace every one working week. I will try my hardest to dwell on this as I think through ways to get us the fertile land we need.”
The animals grumbled loudly but were shut up following the scary scares of the arrows of the fearsome porcupines.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia (c) 2016
END OF CHAPTER THREE. WATCH OUT FOR CHAPTER FOUR NEXT WEEK
(Image taken from www.broadway.com)