Friday, March 9, 2012

Go Back And Get It

There was a mother who had two sons.  The eldest was evil and never learned the ways of his people. The youngest son learned the wisdom passed down from the ancestors.  The youngest son spent many hours walking in the woods, learning lessons from the animals. One day as the sun was falling behind the mountains he saw a glowing light.  He followed the light until he came to a small hut. Over the doorpost was a carving of a bird looking backward with an egg in its mouth. The boy knew it was the Adinkra symbol "Sankofa". He knocked and an old man with a long white beard opened the door. The beard seemed to shimmer against the old man's dark wrinkled skin.  The old man invited him inside.  "I have very liittle to eat" said the man.  But he offered the boy a few roots to make a soup.  The boy boiled the roots and thickened it with some bread he had  in his robe.  When the stew was ready, the old man said that he was hungry. The boy knew it was wise to honor his elders and shared his food.  He even gave the old man the larger portion.  The old man offered his straw filled mat to the boy to sleep on for the night.  The boy refused, saying he could sleep on the floor, and the man should have the mat because he was older.  In the morning the boy awoke up to find himself alone in the hut.  By the door was a bag of money with a note on top. The note said the old man was named "Sankofa" a messenger from God.  "Because of your patience and tolerance, I will reward you with gold and a new name."  On the back of the note was a the symbol of "Akoma"  the heart. Akoma quickly rushed home and told his family what happened. The older brother saw the gold he became jealous.  The next day, he set out to find the old man. Just before dark he found the hut. Just like before, the old man offered the boy roots to boil for soup. The boy also made a thick stew. When the old man said he was hungry, the evil boy gave him the scraps after he had eaten.  The older brother took the old man's mat and let him sleep on the floor.  In the morning the boy searched for his bag of money. The note on top of the bag had the symbol of a yellow flowered plant. The note  from Sankofa said, "Your name would now be "FoFo" because your heart is filled with envy and jealousy." He saw the bag by the door, and stuck his head in the bag looking for money.  But inside the bag was a Sankofa, the mythical bird just like the one over the doorpost.  The bird grabbed the boy's nose and turned his head until it faced backward.  The evil brother came home with his feet facing forward and his neck facing backward just like the Sankofa.  Many people laughed at Fofo. It was only Akoma who showed compassion and taught his brother the wisdom of the ancestors.  Once the older brother learned the lessons he missed growing up, his head magically turned around straight. Moral; It is not wrong to go back after what is forgotten.

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