The Tooth of a Toad [Ako re’Oghwokpo]

There is an old African tale in former times used as a universal allegory. There was once a flourishing pond with an environ full of animals and provided enough for all their needs. Strife was minimal. A Monitor Lizard in the pond had a big reputation for perpetrating wickedness, slander and treachery against other animals that inhabited the environs of the pond. The pain of others was his chief daily joy. His stripes, complexion, eyes and movements made him look both alien and wretched – perhaps the source of his deformed personality. Lying by raising reasonable doubt or obfuscating facts was the essential deception he used to harm and ruin others for no good reason at all. He also had gotten many animals severely punished and banished from the pond despite their innocence. Above all, he was a master flatterer who could easily get former victims to support him and his many schemes. Alas, the animals that lived by the pond accepted the Monitor Lizard’s evil ways as inevitable possibly because they dreaded him. Then a day of reckoning emerged.

As with the eventuality of all evil agents, the Monitor Lizards’ reign of wickedness had gradually than abruptly undermined its own dominion and had become passé. The act that decisively becraped Monitor Lizard was a small lie, “the Toad bit me, the Toad is such a spiteful and dangerous animal!” he falsely tried to persuade others. The Duck bemused and encouraged by such a thoughtless lie then responded, “but the Toad has no teeth, how did he bite you?” The Duck had to the Monitor Lizards’ surprise gotten full support from many of the other animals. Hitherto to that moment, the other animals would have been too scared to endorse any challenge to his person. The Monitor Lizard realising the wholesale stupidity of his claim and visibility of his smear against Toad as well as noticing the satisfaction the other animals felt that he was finally exposed for what he indeed was, he hated himself virulently for it. He tried to fight back by deflecting attention to the Egret accusing it of being a spy. But the Pond Skater would not have it, “We all know the Egret comes and goes with the seasons and has done so since forever. He has never caused us any trouble.” The Monitor Lizard was now smothered with the reality that any lie or deceit he spun to the animals would be effectively countered and ridiculed.
He tried to seek support from the Salamander whom he had a love-hate relationship with, but it was not going to make any foolish sacrifices for him. He walked away from the pond in a dark cloud of shame which he was used to bearing on his emptied conscience if he had one, but this time the humiliation was irredeemable and complete. The Monitor Lizard never returned to the pond again.

———————
How many times have you encountered such Monitor Lizard personalities in your daily lives? How do you deal with them? What type of groups endorses and embolden them? The answer to all three questions is simple: firstly, make energetic progress in your moral reckoning and ‘live in truth’; secondly, desist from groups and settings that promote and endorse “winchee” [sheer wickedness and ambush] and seek only good company. Everyone, even the most depraved of liars, must tell the truth sometimes to survive in life. However, ‘living in truth’ is a commitment to avoiding lies and deceit, of which if you succeed in achieving it on yourself, others will find it very hard to deceive and misuse you. No one is perfect, though. Free will and choice should never be wasted or treated lightly, it is the best thing you have, use it with circumspection and prudence. There is always a Monitor Lizard and ponds [groups] that ply their ruthless evils waiting to take advantage of you. It is up to you.
Be Good, not Lucky

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