GBORBOMA—Like loiterers, like thieves, like pirates, sheep chanced upon Gborboma, the world of goats. Seeing all the wealth that the goats protected, the sheep devised their cunning to loot it all. And if they failed, they were set to burn it all down to ashes. The goats had seen such scenes of flames, of gray, of ashes, of nothingness in the dreams of sheep. The goat-seers had seen that far, far away in distant lands goat-like living things, actual sheep, had lost their souls. The goat-seers could neither understand what it was they saw, nor could they sufficiently warn fellow-goats of the transmogrification of goat-like living things in sheep.

The sheep were loiterers. Nowhere was home and everywhere could have been home for sheep. Except the sheep destroyed everything in their paths. And why? Enter the short history of sheep-violence. A short story of Sheepcraft.

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The goat had become unaware of all that was kept under his protection. In fact, the goat was unaware of his worth as protector of the God-given. The waters were God-given. The forests were God-given. The Earth, in which the goat sowed his crops and reaped his harvests, was God-given. The goat was however unaware of this wealth—the wealth he needed to protect by all means. The goat had become unaware of the Daily Miracles of his own Gods. The Gods that had been kept under goat-protection by the ancestors.

The sheep had come from far, far away. The sheep needed fish in goat waters. In the Sacred Goat Waters. To eat. Sheep ate. That is exactly what sheep did. He consumed anything—by any means necessary. There was nothing that sheep had come across that he could not eat. Nothing was unfit for sheep-eating. And everything had to be eaten. The goat refused the sheep to fish in the Sacred Goat Waters, insisting that the sheep curb his appetite and fish elsewhere—and spare the sanctity of the Sacred Goat Waters.

The sheep, frustrated by his lack of fish-consumption, exasperated by the denial of fish-consumption, decided to square face-to-face with the goat, to fight the goat to the death for the chance to fish in the Sacred Goat Waters. The goat, because he believed that the Sacred Goat Waters was just “Sacred Waters,” inhabited by a God (Maamie Yaa), decided not to square face-to-face with the sheep. The goat did not want to put his life in the balance for the Sacred Goat Waters. The God of the Waters rather—goat thought—should justify her sacredness. She must fight her own battle of survival.

The Sacred Goat Waters were left unprotected by the goat. For the first time the goat will relinquish his duty to his ancestors who had bequeathed him the Sacred Goat Waters to be kept under goat protection. The goat turned down the chance to confront the sheep. The sheep was left free to fish in the Sacred Goat Waters.

The sheep fished, fished, and fished. The sheep fished so much fish in a day than the goat could in a year. The sheep ate so much fish that he had so much time on his hands to think freely. The devil found more work for the idle sheep to do in the Sacred Goat Waters. The sheep developed even better fishing tools to make fishing even easier and more ruthless. The sheep developed the spear, and the wire-mesh nets to haul in more and more fish from the Sacred Goat Waters. Fishing became easier, and easier, and easier. Fishing became more and more ruthless. The sheep found more and more time on his hands to devise more and more callous ways to fish. The sheep perfected his spear and his wire-mesh nets. The sheep fished and fished and fished until there were no longer fish left in the Sacred Goat Waters.

The sheep, with his spears and wire nets now made useless by the deadly-consumption of all fish, then went back to the goat. The sheep was hungry. He needed food. The sheep wanted the Sacred Goat Forest next. To hunt. But the goat refused. The sheep threatened to kill the goat with his perfected spear and, or entrap the goat with his perfected wire-mesh nets if he cannot be allowed to roam freely in the Sacred Goat Forest to hunt and kill for food at will. The goat realized that sheep-tools had become even deadlier in just a generation. The sheep felt it had no choice against deadlier sheep-tools. Again, believing that the Sacred Goat Forest was just a Sacred Forest, the sheep decided that he wouldn’t fight the sheep. He hoped that the God of the Forest (Nana Buluku) would fight the sheep himself.

The Sacred Goat Forest went unprotected by the goat. For the second time the goat will relinquish his duty to his ancestors who had bequeathed him the Sacred Goat Forest to be kept under goat protection. The goat turned down the chance to confront the sheep once more. The sheep was left free to fish in the Sacred Goat Forest.

The sheep hunted, hunted, and hunted. The sheep hunted more game in a day than the goat could in a year. As a result, the sheep amassed so much time on his hands. More, the sheep had so much time on his hands because he had nothing to protect, to worship and to respect. The sheep had so much food to eat. The real work of keeping the balance with his environment was useless to the sheep. The sheep had nothing to value except himself.

The devil, once again, found work to do with the “idle” hands of sheep. The devil, once again, found work to do with the “ideal hands” of sheep. The sheep developed the sword, for slaying all animals, and the gun for shooting them from far, far, away, without respect. Without the honor of facing the animal face-to-face. Without giving the animal his chance to survive. The sheep had become so comfortable with his un-honorable ruthlessness that it knew it did not need honor to continue in its mass consumption of all animals. To continue in its gluttonous consumption. Gluttony knew no honor, no limits, and no such restraint.

Meanwhile the goat was still busy protecting, valuing, worshiping, and respecting the rest of what was kept under his protection. However, the goat wasn’t aware of his own actions. His ancestors had trained him so well that the goat believed he did not need his own brain any longer. The art of sustainable goat-grazing had become so ingrained in goat-nature. It had become second nature for goat that the goat had convinced himself that he had no need for his ancient writing systems. Absolutely no need for a brain. The goat convinced himself that he had no need to exercise his brain, even if just a little.

The sheep hunted, and hunted and hunted the Sacred Goat Forest. The sheep did so much hunting in a day than the goat could in a year. The sheep ate so much meat and drunk so much blood that he had so much time on his hands to think freely. The devil found more work for the idle sheep to do in the Sacred Goat Forest. The sheep developed even better hunting tools to make hunting even easier and more ruthless. The sheep perfected the gun and developed explosives—bombs of planet-destroying magnitudes. Hunting became easier, and easier, and easier. Hunting became more and more ruthless. The sheep found more and more time on his hands to devise more and more callous ways to hunt. The sheep hunted and hunted and hunted until there were no longer animals in the Sacred Goat Forests.

The sheep, with his guns and planet-destroying bombs, then went back to the goat. The sheep was hungry yet again. Gluttony had no limits. The sheep needed food and he needed food now. The sheep wanted the Sacred Goat Farm. To farm. The goat refused yet again. Once more. The sheep threatened to kill the goat with its perfected fire arms and with its perfected planet-destroying bombs. If the sheep cannot be allowed to have the Sacred Goat Farm, to farm for food at will, it will destroy Mother Earth (Asase Yaa) entirely. The goat realized that sheep-tools had become even deadlier in just another generation. The goat felt he had no choice against deadlier sheep-violence. Certainly facing the sheep now in a battle will be futile. Again, believing that the Sacred Goat Farm was just a Sacred Farm, the sheep decided that he wouldn’t fight the sheep lest he be killed. He hoped that the God of the Farm (Nana Agbleza) would fight the sheep himself. The goat left the Sacred Goat Farm to the sheep in peace.

A few years later, the sheep realized that it did not want to farm. It had no energy to farm. Sheep did not like to farm. The real work of farming, of keeping the balance between the crop, the Earth, the Waters, the Air and the Sun was too arduous a task. Sheep did not like real work. Sheep were exceedingly lazy. Worse, the sheep no longer had time to think and to devise better tools for sheep-violence. The busy work of keeping the balance kept the sheep away from what sheep truly loved: To make more and more deadly tools for the constant supply of more. With the busy work of keeping the balance with the Earth, the crops, the animals, the air and the Sun, the sheep no longer had “idle” hands with which to contact the devil. The sheep was miserable. The sheep wanted to go back to doing what sheep did best: Consume much more than sheep can produce himself. Mass consumption.

The sheep loved to take what he had not sown. This enlightened the sheep with glee. In fact the sheep call this state of affairs The Enlightenment. The art of taking (eating or consuming) more than one had produced himself. When the sheep took more fish from the waters to eat than he had actually grown there, he called it Enlightenment. When sheep killed and eat more animals than he had raised he called it Enlightenment. When sheep wore more clothes than he had sewn from his own home-grown cotton, he called it an Enlightenment. When the sheep ate more food than he had grown himself and harvested himself, sheep called it the Enlightenment. This was the Philosophy of More. The Enlightenment was simply the art of consuming more than others, at all costs. Much more, the Enlightenment was simply the art of consuming what one had little hand in making. More consumption was better. More enlightenment was better. Just more. Just cause.

When the real work of ploughing the lands in the Sacred Goat Farm became too demanding for sheep, the sheep decided to escape to Enlightenment. The sheep devised a plan: Sheepcraft, a type of Witchcraft. The sheep went back to the goat and challenged the goat to a duel. If the sheep won, the goat would work for the sheep, farm for the sheep, on the Sacred Goat Farm forever. If the sheep lost, the sheep would do his own farming for a day and then resume to fight the same battle again, and again, and again, until the sheep won. If the sheep never actually won a duel, the sheep reserved the right to use his superior planet-destroying explosives to destroy the goat and Mother Earth.

This was Sheepcraft. Sheep-violence. The sheep had been convinced by his ancestors that the more eating he did, or the more enlightened he became, without actually working for it the better. The sheep had been convinced by his own ancestors that the only real work in the world was not farming, or keeping the balance with nature (Ma’at), but to loot, to rape and to kill the goat who wouldn’t accept to farm for sheep for free. The sheep had been convinced by his ancestors that the only way to Heaven (or Valhalla) was to die trying to kill the goat who didn’t want to farm freely for sheep. Any other kind of death, not in the service of attempting to kill the goat, was recipe to send sheep to Hell (or Hel, or Helheim). Sheep did not respect sheep who died of natural causes. Only attempting to kill the goat in order to force him to farm freely for sheep was honorable, and this was the only way sheep could reach Heaven. Sheep was aware that Sheep-violence was devised to keep him in constant savagery. Sheep truly believed in killing, in destroying and sheep respected absolute violence.

The sheep proudly called this state of affairs of sheep-violence the Enlightenment. The Great Miracle. The Daily Miracle of the balance between Earth, the Sun, the Air, and the Waters, that the ancestors of the goat had bequeathed the civilized world no longer had meaning. Only the Enlightenment had meaning. Only the Great Miracle of the Enlightenment. Only this Enlightenment sent the sheep to Valhalla. If the sheep desired to enter Valhalla (Heaven), and not Helheim, the sheep must kill a goat or die trying.

The goat realized that without the Sacred Waters, without the Sacred Forest, without the Sacred Farm, and without the power over his own labor, he had become something else. He was no longer a goat. The goat realized that he probably should have squared face-to-face with the sheep the first chance he had: The first time the sheep threatened to take the Sacred Goat Waters. Now with Sheepcraft, with Sheep-violence, with the Philosophy of More, with the Enlightenment, which had been advanced beyond recognition and the threat it now posed to goat-dom, the goat faced—more than he faced the first time—a direr task of reclaiming what the ancestors bequeathed to him. The goat realized that the “Goat” in “Sacred Goat Waters” after all was in fact the very reason why the Sacred Waters were sacred. The goat realized that he was in fact the “God” all along. He was in fact the protector of the Sacred Forests all along. The goat realized that he was Maamie Yaa, he was Nana Buluku, and he was Nana Agbleza. There were no other Gods but him. The goat realized that he was the one who should have protected the Sacred Waters, the Sacred Forest, and the Sacred Farm from the sheep all along. The goat realized that the duty of goat-protection of the Waters, the Earth, the Air, the Forest and the Farm were all his all along.

The goat had failed his ancestors.

Worse, the goat realized that he was once a God. Once a God who must now die like a man because of his disloyalty to the ancestors. A God who must now contend with the fallen angel. Now the goat was nothing but a man! Without the Sacred Goat Waters, the goat was no longer a God. Deprived of the Sacred Goat Forest, the goat was no longer a goat. Minus the Sacred Goat Farm, the goat no longer existed. And certainly devoid of the goat’s own labor to own and to wield, the goat was nothing. He was but a thing. The goat had become just another sheep-tool. The goat was but a sheep-slave, far, far, far perched ever so distant from the likeness of a God.

Alas, how does the goat confront Sheepcraft in an age of Sheep-violence in order that he might regain his Godliness, his birthright? How does the goat reclaim what he had lost without a fight; how does he regain, reclaim, what had been placed under his protection from the very beginning? How does the goat reclaim himself?

The goat arose: In order to become a God again, he must regain his Sacred Farm, he must regain his Sacred Forest and he must regain his Sacred Waters. In order to do that the goat must resort to Goat-balancing. And he must resort to balance the barbarism of sheep-violence with the indomitable power of goat-civilization. This is also in the nature of the Gods, what rises must fall. And what goes around comes around. Every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. For these laws to hold, a God must go to work. The goat must believe once again that he was once a God, and a God he must become. Or must he not? Is there another way? The goat reaches back and picks up his ancestors’ faith: His Ancient Writing Systems for his continued intelligent fortification. The goat reaches back (Sankofa) and he picks up his ancestors’ faith: His untainted Vodun, his untainted warrior chant, his Ma’at, for his untainted spiritual fortification. The goat must live; he must become a God at once. At all costs.

4 COMMENTS

  1. “The goat reaches back and picks up his ancestors’ faith”. This is the most difficult stage in the process of the goat’s realization that he is a God. This is because the sheep’s enlightenment has gone into the goat’s head. Most goats don’t believe they are God. The God they have accepted is sheep-like that hates everything goat-like. Everything passed on by goat ancestors is regarded as backward and ungodly. A goat needs to go to a sheep heaven and the only way is to run to holy mother sheep church and all the sheep traditions of lies and corruption.

    • Excellent. Concise! You have been terrorized with the idiocy of the goat (in high places) for far too long. We have been. We need to herd them back perhaps… perhaps!

  2. The second short story taken together with the first one on the Goat and the Sheep in Gborboma can be, could be, should be, must be translated into Ewe, Twi, Ga, Dagbani and Hausa. And like the Swedish made Chimamanda Adichie’s eassay (the Feminist Manifesto) compulsory reading in their elementary schools, Rwanda too can make these two pieces of jewelry for the brain compulsory reading in their schools. I say Rwanda because they are the only goats using a part of their brain now. Perhaps others might follow in their example.

    More to the point of your essay. It is brilliant, soft, powerful, hard, unnerving and thought-marching. The goat might one day reach back and fetch (sankofa) himself. Then he must imagine himself ruler of the world: not equals, but rulers. That is where the goat belongs.

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