LOAD shedding and plummeting copper prices had become the norm of talk at the watering hole until recently.
Lazzo observed that for decades, the farming fraternity had been obsessed with cattle rearing.
Livestock farmers were asked to diversify and venture into goat breeding which promised a wider market!
At the watering hole, the animal debate raged on about the recent policy pronouncement from the executive.
“But have the cows failed us?,” asked a patron amid hilarious laughter.
The slant forehead man who was one of the few schooled patrons at the watering hole by average standards replied: “They have not but have you not heard the adage ‘every dog has his day?’,” he asked with eyes popping out of their sunken sockets.
“You see, a dog will turn over several garbage bins in the neighbourhood hoping to salvage some stale meat thrown away by someone but on a hapless day only find bits of paper and broken glass!,” quipped the slantforehead man.
He further explained that scientifically, various animals including cattle and goats fell under one common denominator.
Amid some giggling, another patron who was known to be an avid fable reader introduced some food for thought when he asserted:
“In fact, it is apparent that one can compare the behaviour of animals to humans,” feigning to sound like a well-read man because as the son of the hood, everyone knew that he had been expelled from a nearby school for being a bully!
He explained that for instance, local folklore upheld the view that the hare was the cleverest animal in the bush.
In the small animal’s escapades, it showed innovation while at the extreme end was the hyena as a villain and ever playing second fiddle to the lion as a scavenger!
As for the pig, it caused quiete a stir of amusement when the patron pointed out that by merely looking at its face one was tempted to laugh!
But the key pointer to its uniqueness was its incessant refusal to become clean.
Under normal circumstances, the pig when brushed clean has whiter fur!
The patron further disclosed that he was once involved in rearing pigs.
He recalled that he several times put drinking water and food separately in the pigsty.
But to his dismay, the pigs would mix food and drinking water and create murky matter in which it rolled!
Lazzo laughed at this disclosure as the slant forehead man also intoned:”In fact, there are humans who behave like that and singled out the buffalo which was well known for its aggression.
“After being shot at, it would hide and waylay the assailant while pretending that it is dead and when the hunter crosses its path, it would then pounce and often, the hunter would be flung into the air by its curved horns!”
As for the birds, the slantforehead man thought the ducks appeared sheepish and could hardly run fast like the chicken which was quick and flapped its wings in flight.
The pigeon was also a graceful bird while the fish eagle was a resilient snatcher and very accurate.
As it soared above, it suddenly hovers downward and in a split second would snatch its prey from the water and flaps away!
Reverting to the animals, the cow seemed snobbish although in some cultures it was held in sacred esteem but less agile than the buffalo!
The man with a rotund face could not be outdone as he recalled his schooldays when he stumbled on the ‘Animal Farm’ book by George Orwell.
He declared that he found that piece of literature to be a nice book but at the time he read it was merely amused at the thought of animals talking!
Much later in life, he began to understand satirical writing and how this related to the behaviour of humans.
Still, in local fables, striking episodes like people escaping the wrath of man eating lions in a large basket made from river reeds soared above to safety!
Another was when a character called ‘Maikalange’ who was fried in a large pot to make him invincible hid in an axe handle by the riverside.
When the ghost reached the river bank, it picked up the handle and flung it across the river muttering to himself:”If I had caught up with that brat, I would have whipped him hard with this stick!”.
As the stick landed at the other side of the river, Maikalange chided the ghost and waved his arms to it.
At this point, the ghost was tormented with fury as it paced up and down the river banks figuring out what to do next…
The patron was almost retelling old folklore as he pointed the fact that he had a chance to read some Greek mythology and thought that some local fables resembled what he had read about the Greek folklore.
By this time, his audience had scaled down to a paltry listening patronage except Lazzo who hoped that the high soaring patron soon realised that he had flown to another galaxy!
Lazzo chuckled to himself when in his thoughts likened the behaviour of the rotund-faced man who espoused the behavior of a goat.
Earlier in the day, he seen a pair of goats being led to an open air abattoir on the fringes of the hood.
The stance of the goats as they were being led by the string showed the animals had a rigid poise and their handler had a tough time leading them as they swayed from side to side with indiscipline.
He thought they were different from the sheep which provided an excellent example of discipline.
Someone at the watering hole said that the sheep was the most orderly animal which did not even resist slaughter.
Lazzo had began to view characters in the hood to the slant forehead man’s assertions and he thought the day’s debate was an eye-opener.
But to he would not dare call anyone by the name of a goat like his erstwhile neighbor who calls her children by names assigned to animals loudly when she wakes up in a bad mood!