Out there lay the Golden cloth, visible to any who passed by. On it lived two families, half-aware of the treasure that lay beneath them, but, they shared a deep love for it all the same. They communed with each other, lived with mutual respect, diverse as two families would be but united by their love for their Golden cloth.
Strangers came by from time to time, telling them how beautiful and valuable their cloth was. Some stayed to feel the warmth of it and left with memorable stories to tell, each story attracted more visits from even more strangers. As was expected too, most envied it and wished it theirs.
With each visit from strangers came a greater awareness of the treasure that lay beneath them, and so did the love and desire to protect it too. "Can we have a piece of it?" the strangers would ask, but each time they would get the same protective reply, "This Golden cloth is ours to love and protect, we have been blessed by it by our forefathers and we seek to pass this blessing on to our children’s children yet unborn”.
Then one day, along comes this stranger, with one thing in mind, "what a valuable cloth, I’ve seen a lot of treasures on my many journeys, but none have captivated my heart as this. I must have it!” Beaming with seemingly warm but pretentious smiles he came, begged to live amongst them and stayed awhile learning their ways, their values. He saw the depth of their love for their Golden cloth yet sought only to take their cloth from beneath them and make it his own. The more he tried, the more he discovered, that as strong as the Love for their precious cloth was, even stronger was the desire to protect it.
How do you take a treasure off someone he thought to himself, without making yourself an obvious enemy? How do I take this precious Golden Cloth without drawing attention to myself, seeing that these people are truly protective of their treasure?
Seed by seed, he started to plant; little by little it began to grow…
Words began to fly, were it all came from no one tried to find out, but every morning each family woke to a new reason why the precious Golden cloth was theirs alone to own. The common love was forgotten; the once friendly neighbor who would normally look after the kids when the adult neighbor went to the farm suddenly grew invisible horns and could not be trusted.
Suspicions began to spread everywhere. The cooking pot is missing; it must be the neighbor who took it. Yams are missing from the barn; look! over there, the neighbors’ yams have increased! My child is ill! It must be water from the neighbors’ pot.
And then, one morning, a neighbors’ son lay on the field. Yes, out there he was, on that same field where the children used to play together, where heads of the two families would each take turns to tell the little ones stories of how they came to find the Golden cloth, the children would laugh at the jokes that laced the stories, mothers would bring the food and water to wash the stories down, out on that very field he lay, cold… in the pool of his blood.
From then on, each family woke up to one less member and slept seeking to avenge the loss. One by one they fell, till there was no one left to love and protect the Golden cloth.
Alas! Along came the stranger, to reap the reward of the words he planted, and with him now resides... The Golden Cloth.