Kalaki’s Korner: Drunk with Power

        http://kalakikorner.blogspot.com/2013/09/drunk-with-power.html    ‘All was not well in the Kingdom of Mfuwe. The Great Elephant King Cycle Mata had become too powerful, and his elephant ministers were trampling on the other animals…’
          ‘Grandpa’ Nawiti interrupted, ‘Why was he called Cycle Mata?’
          ‘Nobody’s quite sure,’ I said. ‘But some people say it was because he was always running round and round in circles and never getting anywhere. In those days elephants often ran round in circles after eating too much marula, the favourite fruit of the elephant. It was marula that gave elephants their great size and power.’
          ‘Mummy says that money is power.’
          ‘But in those days in Mfuwe, marula was power. You see, the elephants had enormous bellies and could eat huge quantities of marula. This was what enabled the elephants to become so big and strong, and to rule over all the other animals.’
          ‘So what was the problem?’
          ‘The problem was that the elephants became greedy for more power, and began to eat too much marula, and became drunk with power. You see, if an elephant eats too much marula, the juice ferments in its belly and turns into alcohol, and the elephant becomes drunk. Of course nobody knew about alcohol in those days, they just thought that the elephant had eaten too much and was suffering from indigestion.’
          ‘So the elephants couldn’t run the country properly?’
          ‘They were always blundering around, not knowing what they were doing, trampling on other animals and knocking over trees. And then things got worse.’
          ‘What happened?
          ‘The Great King Elephant Cycle Mata fell over sideways and couldn’t get up. He was very sick.’
          ‘What was wrong with him? Too much marula?’
          ‘Everybody thought it must be his allergy. He had always been very allergic to corruption.’
          ‘What is corruption, Grandpa?’
          ‘Corruption is when the ruling elephants, who are supposed to ensure that all animals get their fair share of marula, instead eat it all themselves and leave the other animals to starve.’
          ‘So who was in charge while the king was sick?’
          ‘That was the problem. His ministers had always taken instructions from the king, none of them has any brains of their own. That was why he had chosen them. In addition, of course, they were drunk all the time, and the country was falling into ruin and the other animals were starving.’
          ‘Couldn’t they do anything at all? Like stop stealing the marula?’
          ‘All they could do was quarrel amongst themselves about who should take over from the king. The Minister for the Indefensible, The Great Belly of Marula, or GBM as was he was known, declared that the king would live forever, meaning of course that he himself would take over. But the little elephant Splinter Kapimbe, who had a small belly but a big head swollen with marula, declared that GBM had raised the matter too soon and he would be disciplined. This meant of course that Spinter was the one in charge and he would soon take over. Then GBM rented a pack of hyena to change the minds of Splinter and his supporters.
          ‘The country was going to the dogs,’ said Nawiti sadly.
          ‘Not only that,’ I said. ‘An angry rhinoceros called HaHa started to laugh and sneer, shouting that These elephants have stolen all your fruit, they are corrupt. You think they are building you roads, but these roads are just to take all the marula from the trees to the palace and leave you with none. The previous king used to give you a subsidy of dried marula during the dry season to keep you alive, but they have removed the subsidy and left you to starve. Why does the king have a hundred ministers, all chewing our marula? Appoint me as king and I shall manage the entire kingdom properly, just as I manage my beautiful impala farm in the Zambezi Valley.’
          ‘So what happened next?’
          ‘The king’s wife, the Great She-Elephant, came back from India with a doctor, who took one look at the king and declared that the king’s belly was full of overly fermented marula. The alcohol had turned to acid which was beginning to eat the king. So he made a hole in the king’s belly, let out the acid, and the king leapt back to life and started castigating everybody:
          ‘You fools!’ he shouted at his ministers. ‘You can’t even answer HaHa! While I was sick you couldn’t even say Booo!’
          ‘He had forgotten,’ said Nawiti, ‘that he had been too sick to give them instructions.’
          ‘Exactly,’ I said. ‘He had forgotten that he had deliberately chosen ministers who were incapable of arguing with the king, and therefore equally incapable of arguing with anybody else. And he’d also forgotten that they were so drunk with power that they were too arrogant to even answer simple questions.’
          ‘And what did he do with the two elephants who had been fighting over his crown?’
          ‘He declared that anyone challenging him should not hide their intentions, but should nominate themselves as candidates.’
          ‘And did they?’
          ‘Unfortunately, while paddling their canoes to the nomination centre, they were both eaten by crocodiles.’
          ‘Wow,’ said Nawiti, ‘it must have taken a lot of crocodiles.’
          ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘The crocodiles were very well organized.’
          ‘So did HaHa become the new king?’
          ‘Yes,’ I said. ‘All the animals went to him and pleaded with him to take over. He said he was a good businessman, and would soon sort everything out.’
          ‘And did he?’
          ‘Oh yes,’ I said. ‘He abolished the monarchy and introduced free enterprise.’
          ‘Meaning what?’ asked Nawiti doubtfully.
          ‘He sold the whole country to the Americans, as a game park.’
Original article is found at: http://kalakikorner.blogspot.com/2013/09/drunk-with-power.html

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