Once upon a time, there lived a widower and his four Daughters, he had lost his wife in one of the cattle raids sometimes back and opted not to remarry but live with his daughters. However, this Man portrayed a self-style life of living in isolation with his family members not associating with the larger Community, self-centered and never wanted his daughters to associate with other members of the community including Men. The routine was persistent in wherever he migrated and settled, the family had to settle far from other people and did not share anything in common with other Community members.

One day, the Eldest daughter thought of teaching the Father a lesson to solve the persistent problem of the family living in isolation under the father’s iron fist. “Rules are meant to be followed” but for her she had to device a mechanism to break. No man is an island, so she thought of their own world and shared with the other girls of her intentions and requested them to fully cooperate and support her for their good. When the day came, she told the sisters that it was the time to eat the elephant wholly, she had planned to face the father that very evening. She had advised the sisters that should the father call for assistance, they were to pretend to be busy bees and let her lend the hand.

The Eldest sister had taken the Beetle and retained it until the father returns home from herding in the evening. As usual, the lactating cows arrived at home together with the father, she took the Beetle and the milking wooden mug [Elepit] with her before releasing the first calf to suckle, she held the Beetle in one hand and requested the father to tightly hold it without looking at it until she was done milking all the cows. The Father accepted, but the daughter insisted that he should not open the hand until she was through with her duties.  Within a short time, the Father began complaining that the object in his hand was terribly scratching him and ask the daughter to come to his aid. The daughter still insisted that he should continue holding as she was only left with a few cows to milk.

After sometimes again the beetle began to scratch him and he began to complain impatiently, ” Hurry up and take your thing!” and the daughter responded politely,” Father please, I only have two cows remaining, just hold on for two minutes”. The daughter intentionally knew how her father would feel but was truth to his word, “It was their time to eat the elephant wholly.”

The father was irritated by the scratching beetle and could no longer hold his patience. He begged the daughter, ” please if you don’t come quickly, I will die from irritation! “and the daughter rushed quickly to the father in the presence of the sisters and asked him to open his hand and alas! The tiny thing was in his palm drowned in the moist of his sweat. He was flabbergasted and with anger asked the daughter,” what is all this!?”. She started pouring her heart to the father sobbing with bitterness that emanated deep from her heart. She explained to their father of how much they were disconnected from outside world, how they would not be allowed to explore their youthful freedom. To their father, they were like the poor beetle and every time they wanted to interact with other people, he would not let them go. They were in shackles tethered to their father who never possessed even a shred of tenderness. Anytime they wanted to be free their father felt irritated by their request. He would not allow them to mingle with the community members and would not relent whenever he heard or saw his daughters indulge in courtship with the community men. She told him that all their life after the death of their mother they lived in total isolation and he had never seen them as grownups but treated them like young children.

Their father looked at her and then looked at the other girls standing still with tears rolling down their checks and unconditionally overwhelmed by emotions as tears rolled down from his usual fire balls. It was the only time they were connected emotionally. He didn’t utter a word and walked away. That night the king lion had met his match, silently kept all to his chest in his sleeping courtyard. He did not even look at his bowl, only took water and retired to sleep. The following day he woke up very early in the morning and asked his daughters to load the donkeys and follow him with the flock to the next destination where other Homesteads were settled. At last, the daughters got new friends and lived happily with other village dwellers and got married within a short period of time. Freedom at last.

Moral Lesson : Always speak your heart and demand for your freedom.


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