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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wisdom from Africa (III): Silent Rage


Uchendu: Mother Kite once sent her daughter to bring food.  She went, and brought back a duckling. ‘You have done very well,’ said Mother Kite to her daughter, ‘but tell me, what did the mother of this duckling say when you swooped and carried its child away?’ ‘It said nothing,’ replied the young kite. ‘It just walked away.’  ‘You must return the duckling,’ said Mother Kite. ‘There is something ominous behind the silence.’ And so Daughter Kite returned the duckling and took a chick instead.  ‘What did the mother  of this chick do?’ asked the old kite. ‘It cried and raved and cursed me,’ said the young kite.  ‘Then we can eat the chick,’ said her mother. ‘There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.’ [140]




Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

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