Friday, November 02, 2007

Along Came A Spider...

“Hula! Hula! Hula!” chanted the tribals as they got into formation to perform the ritual dance, peculiar to their tribe, which was used to identify those worthy enough to be sacrificed at the altar of their greatest god Fulipili Makihiro Chikipiki Golibaki. The great series of sacrifices was conducted annually at the commencement of the end of the precipitation period caused by the Spanish brother, and lasted for a period of three days, and would have been totally different if it had not been for the greatest contribution to the world from a country named after a king who stuck his hand into the mouth of a lion cub when he was a kid.

But I digress, and we shall return to the sacrifices. The willing (actually all the tribals were willing, but not all of them were able to satisfy the tastes of each individual god, of which the village had some 75 in their pantheon, and they were trying to get more) assembled, and they had to prove their superiority over the others using the power of speech. The nine high priests acted as the mediums whereby the gods visited the village, and chose the tribals who would best appease their hunger. This series of sacrifices usually led to the killing of the entire tribe, including the high priests, but a novel method had been devised whereby the high priests persisted in spirit and helped the next generation fulfil the main purpose of their existence, which of course was to be sacrificed.

Kola was one of the smarter and stronger tribals, and was sought after by most of the gods. He had chosen to be gobbled up by the great Killing Pillaging Marauding God, and was thus already dead and only persisted in spirit. X was an orthopaedic who specialised in the funny bone, and he had been delighted when the Silent and Old God chose him.

The time had now come to appease Fulipili Makihiro Chikipiki Golibaki, who only responded to chants of “Hula! Hula! Hula!” as he entered the priest’s medium. This great god had wanted both Kola and X, but as they were already dead, they could not be sacrificed, and at the same time, if the great god realised this, the village would face his wrath. The first batch of half a score tribals, including Kola and X, assembled in the altar room for the selection. Kola and X had been warned by the nine high priests to follow a process best described as a large reservoir of liquid, failing which they would they face dire consequences, like the sealing of their souls for eternity in the darkness.

The selection started. The tribals began their arguments in their peculiar language Reltok, which included a lot of jargon and a lot of burping too. Following instructions, Kola and X maintained silence and tried to be inconspicuous. In this endeavour, they very nearly failed.

For a giant wind tarantula, a descendant of the giant prehistoric arachnids, was making its way towards Kola (Kola’s spirit actually) hoping for a tasty snack. Kola was petrified, and tried using his immense lung capacity to blow away the ugly beast. But the beast persisted, and came ever closer to Kola attempting to consume his soul. Kola resorted to his ultimate defence, a giant banana leaf which he swung hard at the spider and swept it away. This whole incident seemed so hilarious to X that he nearly burst out in a roaring fit of laughter.

“Hula! Hula! Hula!” the chant echoed in the ante chamber as the tribals gathered for the sermon of the high priests. The great god had selected only a single sacrifice, they said. The god was displeased, and future gods would have to be given better sacrifices. Whether it was due to Kola and the tarantula’s duel, or due to inexperience in speaking Reltok, remains to be seen.