In Ignorant Bliss

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The Battle of Roots and Herbs

Before the Hometown’s historic unification though, each of its affiliate kingdoms, inevitably, had had its peculiar internal problems. For instance, before the downward movement of their latest brothers, the three brothers that made up the Northern Kingdom had to cope with the spiritual problem that left them comprising of only two brothers.

The trouble actually brewed between the first and second born. Following the former’s folly, he had chosen to live distant from their ancestral shrine. Somehow their elders of the time had elaborate chips placed on their shoulders on account of the superiority of seniority. This had them seeing answering to the frequent capricious shenanigans of the gods as something beneath firstborns of the land. Thus, at their behest, the onus fell on the latter who has always known that to answer to whims of the gods was a blessing in disguise.

Over time, the gods – not unlike dogs – knowing only those that fed them, appeared to be favouring the second born son more than the first. In no time this emulsified into a cold war that saw both parties resorting to do with roots and herbs what more warlike entities would have with machetes, bows and arrows. Resorting to their much revered, hence indolent, medicine men, the descendants of the first born son of the kingdom’s founder concocted what their gods suggested would put their disrespectful younger brothers to submission.

Given that practice makes perfect, these curses were not as potent as to subdue a more practiced foe. They had flung a lot of these in the direction of their younger brothers to no avail till they unleashed one as a last resort. Slowly it emerged that all of them labored with the onus of nursing a never-healing sore on their shins.

It did not take time for their younger brothers to read between the medicinal leaves that populated the sacred gorge that was their abode by their elder brothers’ default. When the source of their strange affliction floated abroad even to the uninitiated among them, the entirety of them flocked to the chief servant of their gods who was now their kith and kin with tear-furrowed cheeks. All of them without let were said to be in the retinue - men, women and children; old, young and middle aged; the hale, hearty and infirm.

He was said to have welcomed, heard and consoled them. In the end, he promised them to inflict a proportional retaliation on their erstwhile brothers before the end of a market week. They had not hoped for less and - as the story went - they returned to their abodes to enjoy the sleep of the assuaged for the first time since their debacle .

It could not have been anyhow else for today no one can speak with any iota of certainty as to whether the villages in Northern Kingdom ever numbered more than the three the still number to date following the acceptance of its latest constituents many centuries later.

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