The crowd cheered as Mfume Ashlong’s funeral procession came into sight. Thirteen large-feathered dancers skipped and jumped in the air–bells jingling as they passed by. Martin Ubowe always thought Ashlong was a fool–even in death. Heads bobbed up and down in front of him as he pushed his way to the front. He wanted a front row seat of the foolishness orchestrated by master artisan Dede Nunu.
Martin chuckled as he noticed some young boys straining their necks to peek at the lithe bodies of the dancing girls–especially the drummer boys–who pounded on the drums behind them. With a sly grin, Martin also kept an eye on the wobbling buttocks covered with feathers
The next object to pass by intended to impress and create jealousy for Ashlong’s competitors. The crowd stared with their mouths open, looking at a giant blue ox pulling a cart of solid gold. As the train began to make its way in front of him, Martin felt movement by his side as a little boy tugged on his father’s shirt.
“Papa, what is that?” child said.
“A blue ox, papa? Do they have blue oxen where Mr. Ashlong lives?”
Martin chuckled at the question as he inclined an ear.
“Yes, Mbasa, Mr. Ashlong owns a herd of giant blue oxen”, the father said, “He said he got them from America.”
“They have big blue oxen in America, Papa?” the child said.
Martin took his eyes off the parade for a moment and looked at the father also wanting an answer. Did America indeed, have blue oxen? The man spied an eye at Martin before turning around to face his son.
“They must have, Mbasa, for why would Mr. Ashlong lie? He said that in America, they have the biggest ox he ever saw. It was standing next to the biggest man he ever saw too. Mr. Ashlong said that when he got home, he called up America and have blue oxen sent to him here.”
to continue to part 2, click HERE.