In Ignorant Bliss

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And Three Became Trinity

The story if often told today of many a great man that had trod the haloed thoroughfares of Hometown in memorable lifetimes. Of these accounts none reverberated as much as that of Ogbuelenkwo, the herbalist-cum- mystic. This man among men was said to have hailed from the Central Kingdom. Accredited to have been the most handsome man since creation, tales of his prepossessing looks only paled when attention riveted on the potency of his moral fiber. Having traversed these shores way back then when right was might, he was an acclaimed exemplar of how life ought to be led.

Situated at another end of the ever-elongating tale, is his prowess in his god-given trade. There was nary an ailment sufferable by man that he did not have the antidote for. This reached an enviable apogee when he reputedly - against all odds - cured a man afflicted with the swollen stomach curse, awaiting dumping at the evil forest. Before then he had restored the sights of a long-blind widow whose afflictions had roused pity in him. Indeed, it was rumored that he could even have raised the dead had he seen any need for it.

“If people lived without dying, then there will be no ones to reincarnate new born children?” Thus he was said to have argued when an inevitable passage was afoot. The relatives of the ailing one, too distraught at what was enfolding, were yet too dumbfounded to talk till he was said to have followed up with another question:

“Which of his wives is pregnant?”

“The first one,” the man strong enough to recover his voice first from the group answered.

“How many children had she had for his husband?”

“Three,” the same man answered.

“What did the soothsayer say at the last birth?”

Just then their minds flashed back to the long-forgotten event which offered a ready-made answer to the question at bay.

It was this most sagacious of sages that holds the distinction of being the one responsible for the founding of the union of states – North, Central and South – that was to become Hometown. And it did not come per chance.

It was reputedly shortly after the hard fought Trench Wars; when the rest that was to form the union had rallied round yet again, this time to help the Southern Kingdom ward off their impudent neighbors to the east who had encroached on their property in pursuit of their favorite delicacies that was totem across their common border. They had taken it for a mere infringement as their neighbors were often wont, till it dawned that they evidently had territorial-expansionist plans embedded in the otherwise minor incident of trespass. The ensuing war was to rage for ages; till even the mercenaries hired to prosecute it tired of its vagaries.

Only then did the owners of the war like it stood - the Southern Kingdom - take it by the jugular. As the mercenaries departed, they came up with an ingenious idea. They had concealed trenches dug overnight into which they lured their unthinking attackers and the war ended as abruptly as it had started.

Before then it had been the Northern Kingdom’s lot to seek the aid of the rest. In their peculiar case, far from table rights, their closest neighbors that occupied the upper fields of the wide countryside will almost always invade them; sometimes for the sheer fun of it, it did appear. Always playing on the availability of many able-bodied men in their territory, they engaged these wars - it appeared - to keep them busy; lest they turned their idle minds to internal strife.

Being not too numerous in number individually, these beleaguered Kingdoms that were to make up Hometown never had the capacity to summon up enough men to defend their various territories at these emergencies; let alone keep a permanent army. Thus, each attacked entity inevitably called for warriors from the rest kingdoms with whom they had risen to share what would have amounted to a circumstantial peace pact in modern-day diplomacy.

Also, apart from physical soldiering, at the end of the day they never failed to call for food aid from one another given that all their men will be away fighting at each of these engagements. However, for a long time now they have lived peaceably with their various neighbors. The Southern Kingdom, ever since their neighbors with long throats saw the ground opening up and swallowing the best of their warriors an act of god was never troubled them again. Up north, the trouble had been stifled ever since they wisely accommodated a brother of their attackers who was banished for life by them for stealing the king of crops.

Moreover, these wars inevitably led to refugee problems. Mostly women and children, they spilled into the peaceable sections unannounced; depleting them of scarce resources. Rather than wait till their territory became the battle ground, the refugee-invaded kingdom would often join the war in good time to save nine.

So it was that when the news of the intended summit Ogbuelenkwo brokered was broken, the three kingdoms fell for it. His argument at the inaugural gathering was said to have been short and sharp:

“Since we are vulnerable to seeking each other’s assistance,” the sage had advised, “why don’t we form a strong union that will be the envy of our nefarious neighbors?”

In answer to the multiple questions that followed this and other times subsequently, he ended up explaining to the teeming gatherings each time how the confederation it would beget would function. According to legend, each time they all left the only venue there could have been for the gatherings - the head of the Great River - they were all agreed that the union even favored the project of the gods who made mankind to inhabit one undivided world. Let alone them that were given its own river to savor succor unending from all seasons through.

So convincing was the analysis that at the end of one of the summits that select elders from the three kingdoms were nominated to draw up the modalities for the union. Of course, first in this schedule was a consultation with all the extant gods of the land.

But even the final amalgamation did not come to pass until the three brothers that made up the Northern Kingdom had become two following another bizarre turn of primordial events.

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