“Mama the other children laugh at me whenever we go to the stream and I don’t like it” said kosi
“Did they tell you why?”
“They say am very slow at everything the last to get to the stream, last to finish my launch every time I’m always last.” He said with tears in his voice.
“kosi you are not last in everything; you are my first child, first in your class….”
“I told them I was first in class they said it didn’t matter because when a snake or lion attacked I would be the last to run and it would eat me.”
“Mama I don’t want anything to eat me.” Cried kosi interrupting his mother
“Uto’m nothing will eat you. Come; eat whilst I tell you papa’s favourite story.
Once upon a time in a dark and scary forest lived a very strange animal known as Nźaźi. He was a very slow animal, even Tőrti the tortoise called him slow. He never wandered far from his tree top branch; they never saw him at the stream either for a drink or wash up, hence they declared him a dirty, lazy animal but it wasn’t really true. Nźaźi did come down every fortnight at night and that was enough for him.
One day his friend Nchǫku the squirrel said “Nźaźi must you always stay up on this tree all day, no bath, no visits from anyone except me.”
“Don’t you want to come down and run around with me, picking different nuts and leaves?”
Nźaźi was tired of disappointing his friend every day; he really wanted to go with him but would rather do it night. When he mentioned this to his friend Nchǫku replied that there was nothing to see on the forest floor when it was dark.
“Ok let us go but you know I will be slow hope you don’t mind?” said Nźaźi on this particular day.
“No I don’t, I could always run ahead to find interesting spots then come back to you. You know I love to run.”
It was true Nchǫku the squirrel loved a good run.
He descended to the forest floor finally after quite so time, the feeling of an adventure put a spring to his steps albeit a slow spring.
Scrrrrrrcheeew! Came the sudden screech of a hawk, Nźaźi stayed still beside a tree trunk and Nchǫku ran only escaping the hawk by chance.
Nźaźi returned to his tree wandering how different the day would have ended if the hawk had set its sights on him, he vowed never to tempt fate again.
Retelling the story to his daughter reminded Kosi of the first time his mama told him the story. She had end it with his papa’s wise words,
“Being slow is not the worst fate but being lazy and slow is; find your gift and your pace will never deter you.”
As it turns out he was an excellent listener and psychotherapist.