Once, there was a young babalawo who was an apprentice to a local elder. The elder directed the young priest to go retrieve fire from the neighbor's house, as was the custom. By chance, he went to the Olowo's palace. On his way through one of the courtyards, he noticed the babalawos were performing divination for the king. The young apprentice noticed the odu marked on the tray and asked permission to offer a hint as to what was the nature of the king's problem. The other babalawos, however, silenced him on the grounds that he was too young to speak in the presence of elders. But the Olowo vetoed their decision. He wanted to hear what the young apprentice had to say, recalling the proverb that says "Intelligence is not exclusive to elders."
The youngster took the opportunity to not only speak, but to drop a veritable bombshell! He advised the Olowo to immediately sacrifice a gun in its case, a machete and a hunter's bag in order to prevent himself from getting lost. He added the advisory that the king should not leave his house for the rest of the day. Of course, the elder babalawos were aghast! They chastised the young apprentice and dismissed him completely. And with that, he gather the fire and left as instructed.
Meanwhile, as the elder awos continued to discuss the messages, the Olowo excused himself in order to use the restroom. Coincidentally, he happened to see a monkey in the yard nearby and was compelled to hunt the animal on the spot. He quickly went inside to get his gun and returned to the yard in pursuit of the monkey. In his determination, the Olowo ended up straying deep into the forest, where he eventually got lost. He was wandering in the forest for three whole days! On the third day, Esu appeared to him in the form of the young apprentice. He asked the king what reward he would give for leading him out safely. The king agreed to betroth his daughter, the princess, to the young apprentice if he could lead him out of the forest safely. Esu then lead the Olowo to safely.
The entire kingdom was overjoyed when the king returned on the third day. He immediately sent for the young apprentice and asked him to perform the sacrifice that he had originally prescribed. Afterwards, the Olowo betrothed his daughter to the young apprentice and also decreed that monkey shall forever be a taboo of that kingdom.
Ifa says that the elder who refuses to practice universal honor and respect will soon learn that nobody has a monopoly on intelligence and wisdom. Aboru aboye abosise.
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Live the Medicine
Obafemi Origunwa, MA
Thought leader, Ifa priest and author of four definitive books, Obafemi Origunwa inspires metamorphosis through living the medicine that will heal your life and heal the lives of the people you're destined to serve.