The Feather of Glory ( a Novella )

Posted: March 5, 2015 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in David Aoloch

By David Aoloch Bion

Chapter Sixteen

The in-laws of Lang had come to negotiate the bride price of their daughter Akec. Aleng was one of the poorest men of the Riet clan. The in-laws said they wanted their cattle. Leng had eloped with their daughter three years ago and there was no single hen that was paid. Madut the chief put his feather of glory on his head and called the clan members to assemble under the tamarind tree of Leng’s father home where his in-laws had been sitting very thirsty. It was a custom that in-laws could not drink or eat food at their daughters home if the washing of the mouth ritual was not performed that by giving the father in-law Alokthok cow.

“You Leng’s parents, we need cattle.” The uncle of Akec said.

“Your daughter’s husband has no cattle.” Said Leng’s uncle.

“If there is no cattle, give us our daughter and her two children” the said.

“NO. We can’t give her to you” another Leng’s uncle said.

“No, we shall give our daughter to the man who will give us ten cattle”, said Akec’s uncle.

“This man Leng is a good hearted man. Leave your daughter with him” Leng’s uncle requested.

“His good heartedness means which cow?” Akec’s uncle asked. “Just give us our daughter with her children.” Akec’s parents continued demanding.

Madut had seen the argument on the bride price negotiation was going out of hand. He stopped the talk and he told the guest (in-laws) to give an hour in order that they should think of what to do.

“Good! Go!” one of the elders said.

“That is what we want you to decide. One thing to give us the daughter, or cattle” another guest added.

Madut walked away and the clan members followed him. They moved away from the in-laws.

“You people of the Riet clan, Leng Ayol has no cattle, no goat, not even a hen. And you have seen what his in-laws are saying. What shall we do?” madut put it to the clan of Riet.

“What shall we do? We shall do nothing. The owner of the wife must bring his one cow first and can encourage us to help him. If he can’t bring one cow, his wife will be given back to her parents” one of the Riet clansmen said.

“No. If we give them their daughter, who is our wife? It would put shameful story and evil proverb on our clan. Other clans may abuse us and our children.” Another elder said.

“It had been said that if you get a ripening gourd fallen down, rise it up because you will you it for drinking water. If you get the son of man fallen down, don’t rise him up, he may kill you in future” another elder urged.

Those who help themselves are those who are united. Helping each other maintains relationships in families, in the lineage and the clan as a whole. I contribute four cows and a bull” Madut said. All the clan members burst into clapping their hands for what their chief had done.

“I contribute two cows” Manut Wol announced also.

Many more members of the clan had contributed other three cows that gave a total of ten cattle. The Riet clan returned to Leng’s in-laws, gave in their ten cattle, and a bull was slaughtered and eaten as a blessing to Leng’s wife – that Biol bull.

After six months, it was found that Leng had committed adultery with the wife of an Aror clansman. The case was taken to the court tree. Leng was fined seven cattle and he had no cattle. All his Riet clan members refused to attend the hearing.

“That dog Leng is mad” one man said.

“Recently we saved his wife from being taken and he has done this again” another man said.

Madut the chief even refused to attend the hearing. Leng was given a deadline to pay seven cattle. Seven days passed and Leng didn’t pay any cow. Leng was taken back to the court tree. The owner of the wife Ayom Ayac and his brothers demanded that if Leng could not bring the cattle within the next three days, they would do one of the two conditions.

Condition one, the wife of Leng be brought to the court tree and should be allowed to sleep with Ayom Ayac who Leng slept with his wife.

Condition two, they should castrate Leng and cut his ears off. This shocking of chilling story spread to all the clans. That evening, madut was sitting with his wife Abuk and she asked of  Leng’s case and Ayom Ayak. Madut said that he could not do anything. His wife, Abuk said “don’t forsake your people in bad times and difficult moments.”

In the morning Madut called the clan to discuss leng’s case. Madut said my people in every clan, there are bad and good people. Every community has its own wickedness but is covered up by the glory, honesty and pride of the community. We can’t allow one of our men or women to be humiliated, Madut paid seven cattle alone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s