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PYGMYS

pygmys

This is not her first day in the forest. There are trees, there are ferns, there are sesame plants, there are buffaloes.

This is not his first day in the forest. There are trees, there are ferns, there are sesame plants, there are buffaloes.

And then, there are each other.

But these new beings--who are they? Who come to the forest? These giants of the forest.

They know elephants. They know buffaloes. But who are these new beings? And what is the language they speak?

These giants of the forest?

What is the name they have for them?

Pygmys?

What is the name they have for themselves?

These giants build a mission in the forest. They are here to baptize pygmys and they want to baptize even the pygmy king and queen.

And they shall teach them to follow the Christ.

These giants say they want the pygmys to become good people.

We are good people, say the pygmys.

We want you to become a peaceful people.

We are peaceful, we are pygmys, say the pygmys.

We are Mbuti, we are pygmys. Some say we have magical powers. But we are a good and peaceful people. Who is this Christ we shall follow? And what forest does he dwell in?

Pygmys, you shall become believers, and you shall be baptized?

We are the forest people.

There are some there who have come to learn their language. They call it the Aka language. Are they they Aka people?

They are people. They are people.

Are they children?

No, they are not children?

And what of this language you speak?

And what do you mean baptize?

You have come to baptize pygmys.

But we are not pygmys, we are people, and what is baptize?

We are people. We are the first people. We are the original people.

What are your ideas of God? ask the giants. What are your ideas of the sacred?

Are we not all sacred?

There must be some Supreme Being, perhaps a nature god?

A god of these forests? asks another. A god of these savages?

There is a god of these forests, even among us--savages?--a high god.

Where does he dwell?

Some say above the trees. Some say at the beginnings of religions. But it seems he is no different from your God.

Does he blaspheme?

The man says to the woman in their own language that they must find a deeper forest, far from these great giants. They must find a forest like the first forest....

This is not her first day in the forest. There are trees, there are ferns, there are sesame plants, there are buffaloes.

This is not his first day in the forest. There are trees, there are ferns, there are sesame plants, there are buffaloes.

And then, there are each other.
Published: 2006-08-14
Author: African Library

About the author or the publisher
African Library writes articles, stories, and poems about the African experience.

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