Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Christmas Murder - Must Read

This is the best you will always get here just read it all you must certainly learn something
As I grew up in a very small town where men still hoe the land and carry their burden on their head and back. I was once a king; a king to my kind. Though we were all owned; I ruled, just like my father before me. I am a descendant of the great Kwa, of the Kwa-dynasty. My name is Kwa-kio. I was one king with the largest brood in the whole of birdkind.

I had the most beautiful and great hens. If not for mankind, I would rule the world and nothing will stop me except my maker. At least that was what I thought; all I know now are faded dreams and stale memories of passions, of freedom, as I await the wrath of the human knife. The human knife: How would it feel? My friend Kuk has just been murdered. Though he was my friend for
only two sunrises, it felt like I had known him all of my life. I witnessed his head being separated from his body. The cannibals, devour of the highest order, they had the sense of indecency, among other things, to let me watch as they sliced his innocent throat. I still remember his last words; run, Kio run! And the blade sliced through his throat cutting off his voice, sending a jet of blood into the sky. I have never seen so much blood in my entire life. I could hear the tissues of his throat being ripped through as he fought and then writhed. I died many times. Even when his head was finally cut off, Kuk still spasm under the dead weight of the murderer’s feet on his legs and

wings. Such cruelty, such agony! What a fine life to lose!

“Where do you really think they’ll take us?” Kuk had asked me after they knotted a piece of cloth around our legs, and he tired himself pecking at me in a spark of fear and fury. We were laid on our sides in the scotching sun, we were total strangers bound together in man’s demonstration of tyranny and disrespect; yet we were undeterred. Now we were in strange place full of strangely-dressed humans and countless metal beasts.“I don’t know.” I told him, “I have never been here before”
“Do you think there will be lots of hens there?” “Hens?” How could a cock be concerned about hens in such state? I had thought. “I have had my fill of hens!” I told him emphatically. “Besides, I just want to return to my kingdom where I can freely roam and rule.”
“Hohoho,” his laughter was sardonic, “you’ve had enough of hens? When did you even start to crow?” He demanded. “And which part of the world are you from? At your age you should still be dreaming to have lots of good times with the hens. You mean you’re done meting already? Come on!”

“I am a king,” I whispered to his face, and watched his eyes contort.

“What? You already have a brood?”

“Twenty-five of the most beautiful hens you could imagine.”

“Ah-ha! Then why are you here?”

“Why am I here?” I quizzed. “My owner handed me to that beastly fellow over there, the one with the long, grassy beard and one open eye,” I gestured at the human that brought me all the way to this unknown world on a bumpy metal beast.

“Ah – that one? He brought me here too. He’s a silly one. He farts and stinks”

“They all stink,” I reminded Kuk. He went into a short doze of silence.

“I don’t like it here.” I whispered to him when he tumbled out of his nap.

“If you already rule, why are you here then?” He demanded and then looked around askance and whispered; “Something here is not right.”

“Right?” I stared at his red, half-matured comb; the tips were slowly darkening. He was much younger than I - not less than ninety sunrises younger - so I pardoned his earlier exuberance. He was probably insecure. “Something’s not right,” I asserted.

“Something’s not right,” he echoed despondently, his beak half-buried in sand. “I was told young cockerels are taken away to a place they can inherit young, beautiful hens and rule happily ever after. I was happy when they came for me, but you see,” he looked around, “you are the only one I ever got the chance to talk to since I got here; everyone is keeping a bent face. There’s sorrow in this land.”

“I was having my happily-ever-after when they took me away,” I said ruefully.

Kuk first struck me as a lively, though abrasive, cockerel (in my territory he would cower in my presence) but upon realization that things wouldn’t turn out the way he’d anticipated, he let the dark clouds have him. Perhaps, I shared my dark clouds with him. Things got even tense when new older roosters were brought in and tied in pairs with strangers; I swiftly came to the conclusion that humans had little or no considerations for avian emotions. We were not alone, there were also countless obese Kokoki in metal cages; they chattered and binged, indifferent to everything else. I have never liked the Kokoki, they are a gluttonous wretch; weaklings who gave all of birdkind a bad name. They would eat till they could barely move their busting guts. Their cocks could neither engage in hot romance chase nor could their hens give a steamy butt-up. The avian-flops would rather have humans met for them. What sort of bird cannot even hatch their young? They’ll rather let the humans do that also. My father once said they’re useless, but isn’t that obvious? They couldn’t even crow, well –ah, not even crow well. I have never seen them in such dazzling flock. Kuk had gone into a pensive doze, his beak still half buried in the sands. As I watched the Kokoki their nonchalance made me sick in the gut.

I was still in this thought when they came; the beastly human couple. The woman, pointed at me, she had the biggest round face I’d ever seen. Her eyes were large, so large I could run through them. Her fat hand grabbed one of my laps, quizzed so hard my anus had a let-go. She jerked away in disgust. My hot, watery shit was all over her hand. Her face was contorted in a way that made me want to laugh really hard and loud; but it as a sad day. She mumbled to the man, he nodded, then they had a short unintelligible conversation that seemed like an argument at some point, with the bearded, one-eyed man, handed him a few pieces of papers and we were handed to the couple. I did not like the way the woman looked at me.

“Kio,” Kuk whispered, “I don’t think I like this.”


“The way she looks at us.”

When I was growing up – shortly before my father disappeared – our human owner; our kind called him Kwaka – once he looked at me that way. Not long afterwards, my father disappeared, so did my brothers and cousins of the same age, and I was – by default – made king. I never fought for it. But even if I did, the king-Cock would still have risen from within the family; it always had. No one knew where they went but we were told they left for a ‘better place’. The next time Kwaka would look at me the same way, I found myself here.

Kuk and I were separated once the couple got us to their backyard. Theirs was a big human house with fences upstretched into the sky. Our separation was strategic; our legs were no longer bunched together but a long rope was used to tie one of Kuk’s legs to one of mine; so if we had ever decide to run for freedom, we neither would have gotten away together without some object halting us nor made it separately without messing with each other’s head. We never attempted. There was a loud sound of chattering and laughter which normally goes with Kokoki binging. On a closer look, we realized a large coop for Kokoki was a short run from our unguided spot but we never cared to relate with the sellouts. I let Kuk crow to give a sense worth, he was never allowed to crow in his town. He was deeply happy.

Three days after Kuk was murdered, a young, plump hen ventured out through a small opening, I doubt the humans knew existed on the wire fence separating us.

“Hello,” she offered in their usual happy-go-lucky tone. I wondered why they killed us and not the deprave Kokoki. Splutters of fart trailed her as she came over, her gut let out one so loud and stinky as she closed up, I could barely breathe.

“Sorry, “she announced casually, “my gut’s been letting off lots of gas these days – I don’t know what to do but let the gut have its way.”

The feathers beneath her gut were disgustingly soiled with avian waste; there were free quills stock on odd places all over her body. And she typically didn’t care.

“There is something called pebble – you don’t have to look for them – maybe you should try some,” I replied. “Instead of the vulgarity the humans feed you.” I looked her over, “and try some leafy delicacy, too, so your gut can get back to work.” I didn’t sound cordial and didn’t care. For a while I thought she was hurt.

“I’m Kokoro,” She said flirtatiously and waited for my reply. “I like it when you crow; we’ve not had a real crow around here for a long time.” When she got nothing, she sighed and perhaps contemplated leaving but stayed put instead. The Kokoki does not engage in stress. Give them stress and they’ll run off to the humans. I had started to crow two sunrises after Kuk’s death out of boredom and fright.

“I saw what happened to your brother, I am sorry,” she said. She had so much compassion in her eyes. I felt guilty. Maybe I shouldn’t have been that harsh. But, come on, she was Kokoki; how was she to have complex avian compassion? Okay, they are avian too, but I thought all they knew was food, food, and more food. But right before me was a real bird, though Kokoki, but a real bird with some empathy.

“They’re murderers,” I replied, trying hard to keep my emotions from spilling before a hen, “how could any being be so cruel?”

“I heard it’s been going on for a very long time. Kirrk, a hen who once lived here told us about a huge town built by humans only for the slaughter of our kind. Unfortunately she died during the last purge.”

“What’s a purge?” I asked a little embarrassed having to learn from such a young one.

“Oh, it a word we us here a lot, no one forgets it.” She studied me closely, “It was a time of strange illness that killed only our kind, though it eventually began to kill mankind too. So, they had so many of us slaughtered both those who showed the sign of the illness and those who ever consulted with them.”

“Did they have their kinds slaughtered?”

“No, there’s no story of such.”

“So, why didn’t the damn illness just kill them all off?” I raged. I thought of my town, the man that sold me out: Yes all of them! Kokoki laughed so hard. She could barely carry her big gut so she fell on a side. Just then, three young Kokoki cockerels made their way through the opening to join us.

“Anyway,” Kokoro continued after she regained from her bout of laughter, “Kirrk was one of those who survived the purge. She was taken there but she saw the blade and returned to tell the tale. But as for the blade, we all live to face it another day. She died on the next human ritual, the Christmas. Anyway, that was a long time ago, but as you know, stories live longer than all of us, especially in the coops. You have never lived in a coop?”

“No,” I protested.

The youngsters came and started pecking the earth around us.

“So, what is your story? You are an old one,” she said with some sort of regard,” how come you have never seen some birds die?”

“I was a king,” I said modestly, “and where I came from there was some dignity for bird; yes the birds go away but we never got know where. I just found out.” I was a bit ashamed as the youngsters looked at me with some disbelief. I didn’t know which surprised them the more: that I was a king or that I didn’t know humans killed us for food.

“You mean you never knew they feed us so well so we could be eaten?” one of the young cockerels asked incredulously.

“Not till I got here,” I quipped apologetically.

“I noticed you haven’t been eating,” Kokoro said, gesturing at the heap of crushed millets the humans have left at the foot of the high fence for me to feed on, which the other two cockerels were now voraciously pecking away. I looked away from them with a deep sigh.

“When I saw a little human child come out to play, a sunrise ago, with my friend’s bone poking out of his mouth, I decided I will not give the cannibals the pleasure of enjoying my flesh.”

The young cockerels suddenly stopped feeding. I thought I spoke to their gluttonous consciences. Kokoro gently loaded her huge weight on her legs again; she had been resting on her side since that fit of laughter.

“I know I will be killed some time soon, “continued, “I don’t know when, but I want to be ready when the blade comes for my throat. I want to be sure they do not derive the pleasure of chewing meaty my flesh.”

“What are you going to do?” The cockerel that had been with us asked.

“I don’t know.”

“I have been counting for you, my friend,” Kokoro said sadly; “what’s your name? You never told me.”

I felt my gizzard scurry through my gut, “Kwa-Kio.”

“Kwa-kio. That’s unique. I like it,” she said with a flash of admiration. Suddenly the momentary delight vanished from her eyes. ”Your friend died three sun rises ago; you have three more before you are dead.” Kokoro said genuinely.

“How did you know?” I demanded anxiously.

“Well, they call me the Wise One. I know things. I know the human ritual at this time is seven days apart. The next ritual will come about ninety sunrises from now, and then those chicks in there will die,” She gestured at the coop where chicks could be heard chirping. “For me, I will have to lay my gut out with eggs before I meet my fate,” then she said thoughtfully, “that’ll be quite sometime from now anyway.”

“How did you know all that?”

“An old hen told another old hen who told an old hen who then told her, hens know things!” One of the cockerels pecking away my feed said sarcastically. “But we all die, Kokoro, don’t we?”

“Yes, we do Koook,” Kokoro replied, betraying no emotion. “And yes, we keep our stories; a bird needs to know where they came from,” she added sagaciously, ”and a bird needs to know where they will end, or they never have lived.”

“I am going to eat till I die,” Kook said cynically, “I don’t know if a bird lives again but I don’t want to die hungry.”

“Don’t bother about Kook, he has found solace,’ Kokoro said casually, “he’s going to die soon too, and his brothers," she glanced at the other two cockerels. "The rest of their mates are gone. But that will be very much after you are gone, Kwa-kio. You need to search for a solace.

“Solace?” I asked.

“Yes, something you find peace doing,” Kokoro said.

I looked into her eyes. Though it wasn't a bird thing to do. Humans did that a lot, and now I know why. I felt my blood race. And I kind of liked the way she called my name. She had a burly tone that appealed to me. She was a big hen. “I will not give them the pleasure of enjoying my flesh,” I told her.

When the day came, I knew. It gave a good feeling that I never felt before but like instead. My solace had made me stronger. I had found new friends in the Kokoki. I no longer judged them. I now saw all birds as equal. I did not know where all my sense of prejudice went but I felt a lot better, lighter, and happier. I still refused to eat. I was lean as I have never been, and each time the human passed to check on me, he wore a strange look of dissatisfaction. His dissatisfaction somehow became my satisfaction. Even as he held the knife to my throat I could see he didn’t get any pleasure; my laps had shrunken, my throat was lean and my feathers glossless and disheveled. I surrendered my throat.

Then the knife came down. I was pinned to the ground, the grueling pain from his weight on my legs and wings was enough to kill and I welcomed death. I rolled my eyes to the coop and saw Kokoro, kook and the other two cockerels watching. I will miss Kokoro. I closed my eyes as the blade touched my throat.

“Honey,” I heard a human voice above. The blade halted. “Don’t think that chicken has become really thin?”

“Yeah, crazy chicken,” the man replied, “it hasn’t been eating.”

“It’s all bones. Why don’t we use the beef in the freezer for the New Year feast? We will give it some time to gain some weight. Maybe we’ll make some nice hybrid too. I saw it goofing around one of the layers.”
That triggered a roar from the man. They laughed. Silly humans.


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