THE REWARD OF KINDNESS
In a village called Butu, there lived a man named Bature. He was among the richest and most famous men in Butu land. He was a very selfish and greedy man, prideful and vain in character. Nobody in the village wanted to have anything to do with him. He did not care about what the people were saying about him because to him they were local champions, no better than the dust beneath his feet.
To justify his selfish attitude he would always say to himself: “after all, they do not have anything to offer me.”
Even when the king of Butu land summoned him, Bature gave only deaf ears to the king’s warnings.
“I am a rich and successful business man and I cannot succumb to their words,” Bature would always tell the king proudly.
King Jaja advising Bature
Because of his refusal to heed the king’s admonishments, King Jaja became weary of talking to him and he stopped advising Bature. He knew that one day Bature would come to his senses because nothing lasts forever.
The king was also tired of hearing reports about Bature from the sons and daughters of Butu land – Bature was always insulting them, telling them how poor and wretched they were. Being a wise man, the king called his cabinet members together to discuss about Bature’s inconsiderate and prideful behavior.
The king and his cabinet concluded that nobody in the village should have anything more to do with Bature. They should just let him be because he was as a stubborn fly that would soon follow the corpse to the grave.
“I cannot be associating with poor people,” he said, as the news of the king’s meeting with his cabinet finally got to him after some days.
“Hahahahahaha!” he laughed hysterically, “The king is doing me a favor by asking these poverty-stricken villagers to stay away from me. I have nothing to gain from them,” he thought to himself.
For two years Bature had no one come to him for help or to discuss anything with him. He knew the king had advised them to stay away from him and he was very happy.
The other members of his family were all staying in the city; he was the only one that was living in the village.
“No wonder he has come to stay in the village, it seems he cannot cope with his family members because of his rudeness,” one of the villagers Obande said as he was talking about Bature with his wife.
Bature’s wife Ajuma had warned him several times to turn from his wicked and selfish ways, but he always refused saying “with money, one is on top of the world.”
Whenever she brought up the topic about his rude ways, he would always tell her “my wife, with riches the world is in your hands and all the people in the world are all under you.”
Ajuma was always worried with Bature’s rude ways but she could not do anything because Bature was her husband and the head of their family.
“My God, please change my husband for the better,” she would always pray…
One day Bature became very ill such that he could not go to work. He initially thought that it was merely a headache and he took some Paracetamol to help him try and sleep it off. He woke up the next morning with a heavy fever, his body had become very hot and the color of his eyes had changed from white to yellow. He had become so ill that he could not even go out of his house and no one in the village cared to look after him as he had been living an isolated life for two years.
His servants did not care about his welfare either because he had always been rude to them also. They had become less busy and diligent with their work, they had more free time since he had gotten sick and they were very happy about it.
Five days after he fell ill his servants held a meeting. They decided to quit his employ and leave him alone to care for himself. He woke up the next day and saw that all of his servants had abandoned him.
Bature did not want to go to the village hospital because he believed that the doctors there were all quacks.
His health had seriously deteriorated now and he was very sad because he had no strength left to do any work. He had not eaten for days because no one had been there to cook his meals for him.
“What is happening to me?” he asked himself….
(… continued in the book…)
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