Thinking about the title of this post brings back fond memories to me of childhood. If you were born in the seventies in Nigeria, I’m sure you’ll have a few thoughts peeping out from the dusty recess of your mind. It was on Sunday evenings back in those days, and somehow we tried not to miss it. They were stories with values, and they connected with us so strongly then.
A few years down the line, tales by moonlight had gone, and what we had featuring so strongly on our local sets, were, “Iriri Aye”. These were true life stories that were difficult to believe. They were strange but true events, that could send jitters down any spine. When I read the article yesterday that said that a goat had been caught as a robbery suspect in Kwara State, my mind did quick flashbacks. Now, is this tales by moonlight, or Iriri Aye?
Apparently, the goat had not always been a goat. The goat “suspect” is being detained over an alleged attempt to snatch a Mazda car. The mysterious goat, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tunde Mohammed, while briefing bewildered journalists at the Force headquarters, is an armed robber who attempted to snatch the said car, Wednesday night, and later transformed into the goat in a bid to escape arrest. He explained that men of a vigilance group in Anifowose Ipata/Oloje areas of the state capital had chased two armed robbery suspects who wanted to demobilise the Mazda car with the intention of stealing it, and “while one of them escaped, the other was about to be apprehended by the team when he turned his back on the wall and turned to this goat. They quickly grabbed the goat and here it is.’’ Mohammed said.
I’ve starred long and hard at the picture of the goat, and it does look guilty :). The question lurking in my mind, and hopefully yours, is what is there to learn from this goat, tale by moonlight story? While the whole story sounds very bizarre to say the least, there are a few interesting thoughts in my mind
1. Can human beings change to animals? Well, at least when the westerners do it they call it science fiction, what do we call this, traditional fiction? I’m a Yoruba guy, and I have read a good variety of our folklore, have heard some direct stories of bizarre things from my parents, and partly witnessed something about a woman that came to my house to say thank you (according to the little pictures I can remember then, we could not understand her reason for thanking us, and the only thing we had done previously was save the life of a funny looking bird) when I was 3-4, so somehow it’s a bit conceivable to me that a thief turned into a goat, but gosh I would like to see it happen for myself :). I wonder, I just wonder.
2. Why turn into a goat? Did the guy have an option of what to turn into? Why not a snake, or a bird, or a lion :). I’m not sure that the police force would have chained the snake or lion pending when the case was sorted. Or was it because the activity of stealing itself leaves him with no other animal option but a goat?
3. What happened to his clothes? Did he turn into a goat with shirt and trouser? Or clothed human being equals naked animal? Did the color of his striped shirt influence the goats color? What about the wallet in his pocket or his ID, did it disappear into the goats guts?
4. How is the goat responding to interrogation? Is the goat the same sex with the man, or is it a female goat? Or did the guy perform two surgery’s at once, a sex transplant and a biological mutation? Cos that goat sure looks like a gentle lady. The goat was caught at night by a vigilance/vigilante group right? Did the man turn into a goat, or was he turned into a goat?
Just in case you didn’t get it, I think it’s ridiculous to publish this kind of story and find the security agents talking with so much conviction about what they were not eyewitnesses to. Did the vigilance group apprehend what they found? Most likely. Can someone come tomorrow, kill his wife, family or friend and tell the police that they turned into frogs, dogs or cats?
I think the news articles about the goat were hilarious and entertaining, but I find it amazing that the goat was actually paraded as a robbery suspect in the presence of journalists and indeed the public. I think we are setting ourselves up for a time when dogs can be called monkeys for us.