In my village, there was once an old man who loved to greet people, everyone including strangers. He also loved to roam about the village seeking to know about people’s welfare. Some people thought he was a bit nuts while others thought he was just being nosy.
One day, a terror group arrived at the village and wanted to rob the chief. The old man was the first to meet them, and from the look on their faces, he knew they were not good people. So he employed his gimmicks.
“Good morning, sons?” he greeted.
“Morning, grandpa,” replied one of them, evidently the youngest. “What are you doing out here all alone?”
“You know, I was going to ask you the same, but… well, you’re grown ups and it’s already daytime. What time is it, by the way?”
“Let’s go. Leave the effing old thing alone,” warned the eldest of them.
“No. He can help us locate the place,” replied the young man.
“Yes I can. Are my sons lost? Well, I’m the eldest in this village and you can bet I know everyone.”
“Okay,” replied another, moving closer. “Show us the route to the chief’s home. We have glad tidings to deliver.”
“Okay. But, don’t you think it’d have been wiser if you first introduced yourself to me? I’m not going to refuse to show you,” answered the old man.
“Show us the place, you thickhead,” boomed the eldest. He then drew out a knife from his pocket and moved closer. “We have no time to waste. Show us the route to the place or else I’ll slay you with this knife.”
“Oh, okay… no need to fret, my son. I’ll simply show you,” replied the old man, hit with fear. He showed them the direction and they left.
Afterward, he left hurriedly to the chief’s home and found him taking tea.
The chief did not like the old man and would not allow him into his house. He therefore met him at the doorsteps and asked, “What brings you to my house this morning?”
“I come in peace, my chief,” replied the old man. “I’ve met some rough-looking boys out there who wanted to see you. I knew they were up to something knavish and so I gave them the longest direction to this place. You need to prepare your crew, they’ll be here any moment soon, probably to rob you.”
The chief looked at him with a great measure of doubt and replied, “Thieves steal at night.”
“I was thinking, perhaps they want to surprise you.”
“Look, I don’t like you. You’re so naughty and full of sorts, wicked in fact. You are old and know nobody and nothing in this village. Leave my home.” He then turned and walked back to the house.
The old man felt sorry for himself, for wasting his energy to help an ungrateful chief. Why did everyone in the village think he was crazy? He wondered. He turned and was just about to leave when he saw the gang entering the chief’s gate. He quickly walked up to the back of the house and hid in a thicket. From his hideout, he watched with bated breath as the gang stormed the house, and then heard screams and hollers as they descended on the chief’s family with beatings. He stood up and walked away. “If only he’d listen to me,” he told himself and took a safe route back home.