The Hen, the Duck, and the Hawk

Each time I have cause to write this type of post, one Yoruba proverb or the other usually comes to mind. Proverb preaches wisdom, and that’s why I’m always proud of being a Yoruba man. We have proverbs (wisdom) in abundance.

The appropriate proverb for this post is, “Lowe lowe la n lulu agidigbo, ologbon lo n jo, omoran ni tumo re, ewe koko la fi se awo re, igi ganmu ganmu la a fi i lu. Afoju nil u, aditi ni i le orin si.” This literally means, The agidigbo drum (i.e bata drum) speaks proverbs, the wise dances to it, the sage translates it. The cocoyam leave is the drum’s skin, the thorny sticks are used for the beatings. The blind beats, the deaf and dumb sings.”

By the time you finish reading this post, you will need wisdom to interpret it.

The post is a parable – the parable of the hen, the duck, and the hawk.

The hen hatches 10 chicks. Every week, the hawk descends to prey on the chicks for food one after the other. The hawk comes today to take one. It returns tomorrow to take another one. Before you know it, the hawk would have devoured nine out of the 10 chicks without much efforts.

But why? You may ask. Why should the hen allow the hawk to do so without a fight? And what gives the hawk the confidence to come again and again to catch the chicks for food?

The answer is simple. Each time the hawk arrives, the hen makes a lot of shakara as if it’s about to fight. It jumps up and down as if to scare the hawk away. But the hawk knows better. It knows that the hen only makes noise; it cannot do anything. It can only shout, but cannot put up a sustainable fight. So, the hawk continues to come for the hen’s children.

But the hawk dares not do the same with the duck.

It’s not because the hawk thinks the duck is more powerful than the hen. It’s not that the duck can fly as high as the hawk. There is only one thing that the hawk is afraid of: It’s scared of the uncomfortable silence of the duck!

Whenever the hawk descends to take one of the ducklings away, the duck simply looks at the hawk without making any noise. It stops and surrounds itself with the ducklings. It keeps its cool and does not run about or make any noise like the hen. This scares away the hawk every time. It reasons, “Hmm, this duck that doesn’t say a word must have some powers. I have to be very careful or else it harms me with its secret powers.” So, the hawk flies away without harming any of the ducklings. It goes in search of the hen that can only make noise without any action.

Now, you should be getting the point of this post…lowe lowe la n lulu agidigbo…

Some people are all noise without action. They are all shakara without any power. They can only bark but cannot bite. They talk and talk and talk without any result. They are the hens whose chicks are eaten without any resistance. They promise but fail to deliver. They get attacked without any response. They show annoyance but cannot fight. Yet, they boast of their abilities for the whole world to hear.

You know them when you see them.

You know them each time they speak.

And, of course, you know them each time the hawks of this world attack.

Shame on the hens of this country…and shame on the hens of this world in general.

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1 comment on “The Hen, the Duck, and the Hawk”

  1. Hmmmmmm….. Confirming the word of God in the scripture; in peace and quietness shall your strength be.

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