Chapter Thirteen: Mr. Masai
As the most popular printer in all of Country Village, Mr. Printer now traveled to Masai Village to meet with Mr. Storyteller.
The single-hump camel ride over to Masai Village was both bumpy and lumpy for Mr. Printer. The heat was scorching and sweltering and he had to knot a kerchief upon his head to keep cool in the hot sun. He disembarked from the camel once he saw the friendly face of Mr. Storyteller. Mr. Printer walked over to Mr. Storyteller with his printed books in hand.
“You look exhausted from your single-hump camel ride,” said Mr. Storyteller to Mr. Printer, “You probably should have traveled double-hump – it’s a little extra but it’s much more comfortable. There is a lot more legroom.”
“Mr. Storyteller,” enthused Mr. Printer, “I am the most popular printer in all of Country Village and I would like you to consider reading some of these wonderful books I have printed for Masai Village.”
“Oh spear,” replied Mr. Storyteller, “You see Mr. Printer, here at Masai Village we do not require printed books because we tell stories without the need for books. We gather by the campfire in the cool savannah evenings, the young and the old, and we drink hot tea with beehive honey and we tell our traditional Masai Village folk stories.”
Mr. Brickbuilder’s head drooped in disappointment.
He had not understood that people in Masai Village prefer to tell oral stories rather than read stories in printed books.
“Do not be disappointed, Mr. Printer,” said Mr. Storyteller in a calm and comforting tone, “Why do you not join our village for dinner this evening and afterward, we shall drink tea by the campfire and you shall hear some of our traditional stories.”
Mr. Printer had dinner with the people of Masai Village and afterward, he sat by the robust and roaring fire, eating roasted maize and drinking herbal tea with honey from the village beehives and listened to Mr. Storyteller tell a traditional story called ‘The Wise Young Masai Boy’”.
As he gazed around the warm glow of orange embers and burning cinders and flickering yellow flames of the campfire, he saw many shining faces and smiling eyes encircled around him in the calm of the starry African night. He saw a young boy laughing at all the faces Mr. Storyteller made with his enchanting facial expressions and his vibrant vocals of all sorts of African animal sounds: lion, elephant, hippo, kudu and baboon. After Mr. Storyteller had completed telling the story, Mr. Printer understood that stories told orally are indeed very different from stories written and printed in books. He understood better.
Mr. Printer then asked a question to the young African boy sitting nearby him who was about Jonathan’s age. The boy’s name was Enkai.
“Enkai,” enquired Mr. Printer, “Could you please tell me why you like to listen to the stories of Mr. Storyteller?”
“Certainly,” replied Enkai, laughingly, “It is because it helps me to better understand the world in which I live.”
“Perhaps, Mr. Printer,” suggested Mr. Storyteller, “Enkai can tell you the story of how our tribe received cattle after the creation of the earth?”
Enkai smiled in the glow of the campfire and began to tell Mr. Printer the story of how his tribe first received cattle.
“In the beginning,” explained young Enkai to Mr. Printer, “The earth and the sky were one. Then Ngai, the Creator, separated the earth and the sky and he tarried upon the earth for a while, living on top of Mount Kirinyaga. Nagi and his wife had three sons. As his sons grew bigger, Ngai gave each of his sons a tool. The first son became the father of the Kamba tribe and he received a bow and arrow to hunt. The second son became the father of the Kikuyu tribe and he received a hoe to till the land and grow crops. The third son became the father of the Masai tribe and he received a stick with which he herded goats and cattle.”
“Where did your tribe receive the cattle?” enquired Mr. Printer.
“The cattle came from the sky,” explained Enkai, “When Ngai’s work was done on the earth he went up to the sky where he now lives. As soon as he moved to the sky he released a long, long bark bridge all the way down to where our tribe now live. He then released many, many cattle who walked down the long, long bark bridge from the sky to the earth. That is how our tribe first received cattle.”
Mr. Storyteller smiled. He could see that Enkai may grow up to be a storyteller himself one day and so keep the tradition and legacy of the tribe alive.
“Thank you for your story,” said Mr. Printer to Enkai, appreciatively, “I now better understand why you do not always need printed books to tell stories.”