The Tooth of a Toad [Ako re’Oghwokpo]

There is an old African tale once used as a common 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. His stripes, eyes and movements made him look both alien and wretched – perhaps the source of his deformed personality. As with the eventuality of all evil agents, the Monitor Lizards’ reign of wickedness had gradually undermined its own self and had become passé. The act that decisively craped Monitor Lizard was a small lie, “the Toad bit me, the Toad is such a spiteful and dangerous animal!” he tried to persuade others. The Duck bemused and emboldened with sympathy from many of the other animals then responded, “but the Toad has no teeth, how did he bite you?” The Monitor Lizard realising the wholesale stupidity and visibility of his smear against Toad and noticing the satisfaction of the other animals felt that he was finally exposed for what he truly was [and hated himself virulently], he walked away from the pond in shame which he was used to bearing on his emptied conscience; he never returned there again.

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