The rat trap .

This topic has been on my mind for a while now. I found it difficult to successfully put it down in writing due to the roller coaster, exciting week I have had so far. Wednesday, December 1st, my sister was called to bar i.e. she became a barrister. I am proud of her. Intelligent and driven, she had maintained her focus and fulfilled her dream. I flew to Abuja for the ceremony that morning and it was a swell time. Travelled on the dusty road to Bwari where the Law school is located. We had fun took pictures and on the following day I travelled all the way to Ilorin, kwara state. The road was bad and there was at least 1 accident every 10 kilometers. I couldn’t help but wonder how much this country is losing on the roads in terms of human life. All these events got me thinking. I saw a few thousand lawyers become barristers, and I knew many more have been. I began to wonder, why is there so much lawlessness in a country that churns out thousands of lawyers yearly. This question further reiterated the longing I have had to share this story with my readers. Its a story I heard from my mentor a few months back and it stuck as a reference philosophy for me since then. Its the story of the rat trap…

Once upon a time, there was s large farm house situated somewhere on the countryside. All kinds of domestic and a few non-domestic animals were resided in the farm. The farm, of course, was owned and managed by the farmer. As luck would have it, there was a tiny rat in the farmers’ house. This rat had always created havoc in the house (you know what i am talking One day, the farmer came back home with a wrapped packaged and called his wife to open the package. This rat peered out of his hole eager to see the new gift that the farmer just got that could serve as ‘lunch’ for him. Alas, as the farmer’s wife opened it , in there was a rat trap. The rat of course was scared. He imagined what could happen. His doomsday was near, he was going to be killed. In desperation, he decided to seek for help from other animals in the farm. He ran out to meet the chicken, this discussion ensued between the chicken and the rat …

Rat: ‘Chicken, chicken, the farmer just bought a rat trap, the trap can kill me, lets do something.’

Chicken: ‘what did you say.. rat trap?’

Rat: ‘yes, rat trap’

Chicken: ‘listen to yourself, dear rat, just listen to yourself, how is that my business? Am i a rat? Do i look like one? Please leave a alone and let me face my business.’

He begged and pleaded. All to no avail.

Dejected, the rat left the chicken, and ran to meet the Pig

Pig: ‘what did you say? A rat trap? Are you out of your mind? Cant you notice the differences between a rat and a pig? Please leave me alone, its none of my business.’

One last straw, the rat went to meet the cow. Hmmmmmm

Cow: ‘Mr rat, my brother, i am responsible for the economic life of this farm. I manufacture products that are exported for foreign exchange, i am a big man here. The livelihood of this farm is dependent on me. I cannot be bothered by something as trivial as a rat trap. Please leave me alone.’

Wow. You know how it feels, when those that can help don’t want to be bothered.

He cried. He begged. It all fell on deaf ears.

The rat went back home (to his hole). Decided not to come out at all, lest he loses his life in a ghastly motor accident (sorry, rat trap accident).

Suddenly in the middle of the night, there was a loud scream. It was the farmer’s wife. There was panic everywhere, the trap had caught a snake. In a bid to try and see what it had caught, the farmer’s wife had been bitten by the cobra. She is fainting. The farmer was hysterical. He rushed her to the nearby native doctor. The doctor examined her and through some careful procedures, he told the farmer that the only things that could cure her was a special mixture of chicken soup.

Of course, that’s easy for the farmer. He rushed home to cook the soup. And guess what the major ingredient for the soup was… yeah you guessed right – chicken. He slaughters mister chicken and made the soup and carried it to the doctor. After a few days of treatment, the doctor gave up. ‘carry her home and let her die there, its more honourable for a person to die at home than elsewhere’.

Hmmm. The farmer carried her home. Being an influential man, visitors and well-wishers trooped in to pray for the wife and check on her. The farmer decided that it would be a nice thing to entertain the visitors, and he decided to cook rice and pork meat. Guess what the major ingredient of pork meat is … yes Mr Pig. Proud and haughty Mr pig was slaughtered – for the guests.

Finally and sadly, the farmer’s wife died. It was a sad day. People travelled from all over to attend the burial ceremony. The farmer, though sad, made it a point of duty to give his wife a befitting burial. He decided to make a lot of meat available. I am sure you already know where i am going. He killed the cow. The manufacturer that couldn’t be bothered.

Nice narrative you might say. But Gbemi, how is this my business? I am a student, or a banker. I am responsible for my family. How is this my business (sounding familiar?).

My point: somewhere in between the chicken and the cow is you and I and we will eventually die for what is not our business, if we don’t make it our business. Aren’t we already dying for it? We produce professionals in tonnes but we are too lost in the survival mode that it seems like every other thing is not our business. Yet we know a friend, a loved one, a relative who has died in a motor accident due to bad roads or has died in a hospital due to poor healthcare. Yet we say that the rat trap is not our business. I believe we all need to go about our businesses, but I also believe that a lot will be done if we all decided to lend our voices to the sounds of freedom and change. We can’t continue like this. I have a lot to say but i will reserve it for a while. My simple thought this week is this – what is that rat trap that is not your business. Be careful, lest you reap the consequences of inaction. One love.


One Response to The rat trap .

  1. Tosin says:

    Hmmm…I guess we can no longer afford to sit on the fence and watch. We HAVE to do something drastic.

    Thanks for the spurring up.


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