A REEDSY PROMPT
Write a myth to explain a mysterious part of life (such as what happens after death).
by John Yeo
I heard it from my Father, who heard it from his Father. The origins of the tale go far back in the mists of time. Apparently, the saying goes that a horse with a horn situated in his nasal area, actually raised his head and spoke. Of course at that particular period in time, nobody understood what he had tried to say.
The Shaman, as the wisest person present, led the creature into a small field attached to his hut. A little later a loud whinny was heard by the assembled villagers. A sound that was enough to send shivers down the spines of the hardest-hearted person there.
Soon the Shaman came into view and sternly said ‘It is finished.’
Wiping the blood from a huge sacrificial knife, he said. ‘We must end the line of animals that presume to be equal to us by talking.’
The Chief of the village then came forward and addressed his subjects. ‘Kill any horse born with a horn. Especially the creatures that have the temerity to attempt to speak.’
There was a murmur of approval and cheers from the assembled villagers.
Following this major event, almost every horse born with a horn was slaughtered.
I say almost, as there were survivors. A group of three of these unusual animals were corralled and secreted in a valley surrounded by dense jungle.
Danito, who lived with his woman and lifelong partner Marita were isolated from the rest of their neighbours and treated these lovely creatures as equals. Marita even learned to speak to them in a basic but quite fluent way.
The Shaman was quite sure that the Chief’s instructions had been carried out and the unusual creatures were gone.
Until the special day, Marita’s Father decided to pay her a visit to celebrate her birthday. Marita knew her Father was a mystical man, although she hadn’t seen him for many years, she welcomed this visit.
Unbeknown to Danito and Marita the person who arrived was the Shaman, who happened to be Marita’s Father.
Suffice to say, when the Shaman had greeted his daughter, there was a huge welcome and a feast was consumed. With wine served from the horns of a strange animal.
‘What meat is this?’ asked the Shaman.
Marita replied, ‘This is the meat of our friendly animals who die and return to us supplying an endless supply of food. We have grown to know them and they have proved there is life after death, by returning in many different forms. Sometimes they come back with wings and fly away. Father, there will always be life after death in one form or another, once we leave this husk of a body behind.’
The Shaman was overwhelmed with this and kept the secret of his daughter’s location.
So the story of life after death began as the slaughter continued and the creatures came back in many forms. Sometimes absolutely unrecognizable.
Thus was born the myth that is fine to eat the meat of animals as they always come back to life after death, in another form.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.