I am not concerned


Kofi Dorvlo

Ewe people story from the Volta region in Ghana, Wijsheidsweb, August 23, 2019

On a farm that is owned by a wealthy prince lived a hen, a duck, a ram and other domestic animals. They all did their domestic chores in an orderly manner to the admiration of the people in the village.
The prince provided the needs of all the animals on the farm and it was a beautiful spectacle to behold. What is most remarkable is that the duck, the donkey and the ram shared all the duties on the farm making it possible for the existence of cordial relations on the farm.

Donkey – photo Joke Koppius

However, the greatest worry of the hen and the duck and their offspring is that after each meal the donkey will jump about with joy, not only on the farm but in the surrounding as well. This was so fearful to the smaller animals on the farm because they feared he might trample on them and they would be injured in the process.

They gathered the courage to seek an audience with the ram and discuss the problem with him since he was one of the big animals on the farm.

“Mr Ram, we are humbly appealing to you to inform the donkey to know the boundaries of his joy or channel his joy in another way so that it would not involve jumping wildly on the farm”

This humble suggestion by one of the representatives of the birds did not have any effect on the ram. Mr Ram on hearing this modest appeal thought briefly and replied that this was a matter that did not concern him; it was for the donkey to behave well in the farm. Donkey was, as usual, misconducting himself on the farm and all the members looked on helplessly because they did not know the one on the farm to advise him.

One day, after eating to his satisfaction, the donkey jumped so high that he could not control himself and he fell on the fence that enclosed the bathhouse in the compound. At this time the queen was in the bathhouse and coincidentally she was exposed.
A great silence descended on the compound. Accidents happen in the village but this one was beyond description. The people around saw the nakedness of the queen and rushed to get a piece of cloth for her to cover her body, though it was a bit too late.

The elders were called to meet in the palace to consider what should be done to avert this sacrilege. After much debate, it was decided to sacrifice ram to placate the ancestors of the land and mother earth if not the harvests in the community would be affected.

Sacrifice Mr. Ram[1]

Ram tearfully moaned that throughout his life on the farm, he was well behaved and he did his duties as expected of him. The elders assured him that when things happen in this way, the blood of a ram is needed for a sacrifice for peace and as such he should be slaughtered and the blood poured at the place of the accident for peace.
After sober reflection, duck points out to ram who was about to be slaughtered that if he had shown a little concern to the things that happen around him, he would not have been called upon to pay with his life for the good of society.

[1] Source: Mr Ram – photo arjecahn

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was a Ghanaian former visiting research fellow of the African Studies Centre Leiden (2019). He was awarded his PhD in 2008 at Leiden University for his study on the documentation of the language and culture of the Logba population in Ghana: A grammar of Logba (Ikpana).

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