Story from I, Adventurer

… one of 18 ebooks in The ‘I’ Series – flash fiction (horror, sci fi, crime, romance & twist in the tale), poetry and short essays from politics to the paranormal.

They were one of the Lost Tribes of Africa, but they didn’t feel lost – at least, not now.
Times had been hard of late. Bellies were empty. But they had had times like this before – it would pass. Yet the Witchdoctor knew morale had to be kept up. Hence, he sat down by the fire, called for their attention, and told the story once more:

The great bird was seen in the sky, trailing fire, and as it landed there was a huge eruption. We ran to where the bird was and found him, lying beside it. He was alive and we nursed him back to health.
He was white of colour and he said he came from a place called The West. His great bird was of metal and with it he could fly many miles. And we were in awe of him, come from the miraculous gods.

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For a while he dreamt of going back to his people, but it soon became clear that he could never walk that far, so he settled down to tribal life – at least, at first.
It began when he realized that the mud we smeared on us for hygiene was inefficient, and he made us soap. This was a marvellous thing, and we looked so much better. But little did we realize that manufacture incurred cost – and by looking better we realized vanity.
This was the beginning of the capitalism he brought to us. At first many complained, but he said we were being too narrow-minded, and he spoke of his system, of the wealth, the comfort that could come from it.
And in so many ways we changed. He introduced plentiful stones of no value, but he placed value on them and called it money, and everything had a price, and we could have a thriving economy. And as time passed, and we found new places in society, we spent ourselves into fragmentation, with some becoming rich and most being even poorer than before.
With new values, our customs began to wane, and soon men took wives who weren’t their own, and fights began amongst us. Until the day came that someone committed the murder. It was through jealousy, a thing we hadn’t understood until the white man came from The West.
It was then that we realized that no one knew happiness any more, and we determined things must change.
He was banished from our tribe. What happened to him, we don’t know, but a couple of days later, far away, we saw the vultures circling. And slowly, very slowly our history turned once more to how it should be …

The witchdoctor had finished his story. They all knew it so well, but there had been a reason to hear it now. Finally, he concluded:
So think of The West when you feel things are not going well, and remember, there are always people worse off than you.

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