So I’ve been asked why I question stuff so much, why I want to know the Why behind everything I’ve been taught. In fact, a few days back someone who has decided he’s now my father’s mate went as far as to ask me “So you think you are now so wise that you would question…”, I didn’t hear the rest.
Anyway, to explain the Why behind my Whys I’ll tell a story someone once told me.
In a clan far far away there was a custom that had been passed down from mother to daughter for generations and generations. When a fowl was killed and cooked the head, legs and wings were never boiled in the same pot as the rest of the body. NEVER! It was an abomination. And so whenever a new wife was married into the clan she was instructed, no, admonished to never make the tabooed mistake.
One day a son of the clan traveled far and came back with a new wife. Seeing as she was a stranger to their ways she was sat down and instructed on all the laws of the land. Most of them were basic, kneel to greet your elders types of laws, but there was one she just didn’t understand.
“So what will happen if I cook the fowl with it’s limbs and head in the same pot, Mama”, she asked her mother-in-law as they sat on their kitchen stools listening to the crickets chirp in the dead of the night.
Her mother-in-law gasped in horror, clutched her breast and stormed off into the night.
This got the new wife intrigued and she simply had to find out what calamity would befall mankind if she dared cook fowl and limbs together. What if she got really bold and added the head? And so she kept asking and kept getting berated. But she wouldn’t give up, she simply had to know.
She decided then to ask the older citizens since they would naturally have more experience and would have less energy to shout her down. Each older woman she spoke to directed her to a woman older than herself and soon she was seated on a raffia mat before the oldest woman in the village. As she considered the woman’s leathery face, lined with wrinkles and experience, she prepared herself for the bombshell that was to come.
Through her gums, for she had but one tooth left, the old woman whispered “Na my mama start the thing”. She paused to rack her frail body with a coughing fit and spit out a large glob of phlegm, then she continued, “That time she been no fit cook the complete fowl for one pot because the pot been dey too small”.