Short story: The faithful mongoose
Once, a man named Brahim lived in a small village called Bambada. He lived there together with his wife and their baby boy.
One day, as Brahim was returning from a nearby village, he came across a baby mongoose crying next to its dead mother’s body.
“Oh what a poor creature. If I leave it here, it will surely die,” thought Brahim. He picked it up and went straight home. When he got home, he saw his wife on the compound and said, “Peace, look what I brought home today.
I found this little creature on my way back home. Its mother is dead and I was afraid it would die too if I left it in the bushes so I brought it home to raise it along with our son.
“But Brahim, you know this is a wild animal. We can’t tame it, when it grows, it might eat our son up when he gets hungry,” Aunt Peace said. “Let’s keep it for a while, if it gets too aggressive, we will send it back to the forest.
We can also train and tame it to be our son’s companion,” Brahim said convincingly. His wife, eventually agreed.
The mongoose started growing up with a lot of love and care in Brahim’s house. It slept next to Brahim’s son, drank milk and played with the boy every day.
As both the boy and the mongoose grew up, their friendship changed to brotherly love but the mongoose was growing faster. Aunt Peace became apprehensive because she knew it was only a matter of time that the mongoose would show its true colours and attack their son.
On the other hand, she had taken care of the animal since it was a baby and had developed genuine love for it. Apart from that, it had become a member of the family and a great companion to her son who was also growing normally as a human being.
Aunt Peace shared her fears with Brahim and he assured her that the training they had given the mongoose would not make it kill or attach their son.
“Besides, I am sure it has forgotten its wild ways after living with us for a long time,” Brahim reassured his wife.
Aunt Peace, nonetheless separated her son and the mongoose’s sleeping place so that one day if the mongoose woke up from its sleep and was hungry, it would not eat their son up. She was also vigilant and watched the mongoose carefully when it was playing with the boy.
One day, Brahim went out to hunt and was gone for days. There was no water in the house but Aunt Peace was afraid to leave the animal and the boy alone to go and fetch water from a nearby stream.
One afternoon, Aunt Peace decided to go and get some water because there was not even a drop of it left. She waited for both her son and the mongoose to sleep.
When she saw that they were both fast asleep, she hurriedly went out to get the water. She knew she would be back long before they woke up so she wasn’t very worried. The mongoose woke up first because it heard a faint sound.
Later, it realised the sound was coming from where the boy was sleeping so it headed in that direction. When it got there, it saw a very big black snake moving towards the boy’s sleeping place. The brave mongoose with all its might pounced on the huge black snake and after a long ferocious fight, the mongoose managed to kill the snake.
The little mongoose joyfully ran towards Aunt Peace when it heard her coming. When Aunt Peace saw the blood on the mongoose’s mouth, she exclaimed: Ahhhhhhh this wretched animal has killed my son.
I knew this would happen one day,” she cried. Aunt Peace always carried a dagger to protect herself anytime she went out so she angrily pulled it out and stabbed the mongoose as it was rubbing its coat on her legs for a petting.
The mongoose gave a surprise wail and fell down. It lay there motionless. With a heavy heart, Aunt Peace entered her compound and rushed to her son’s room. In the room, she was surprised to see her son still in his slumber.
At the side, she saw a huge back snake with its head off. “Oh what have I done, I killed the faithful mongoose which saved my son’s life, ohh noooooo,” Aunt Peace cried bitterly. She was beside herself with grief. She then rushed outside to check on the mongoose.
At that time, Brahim’s was also on his way home. When Aunt Peace got out she saw Brahim kneeling beside the mongoose. He had already taken out the dagger from its belly and was trying to stop the bleeding.
The mongoose was very wounded but when Aunt Peace narrated what had happened, Brahim knew what to do and they nursed the mongoose back to life again.
The mongoose became well and lived with the family happily ever after.