Once upon a time deep in the Cockpit Mountains in the West Indies there lived some runaway slaves. One day the Town Crier told the villagers that a great ship was coming to take any person who cared or dared; back to the Motherland. Anyone who reached the port safely could board freely and be taken back to the African continent to be reunited with their families.
The runaway slaves lived in a village several miles away from the Injera river which ran right into the sea. The port that would receive the ship was located a few yards away. That evening the villagers talked in hushed whispers about the new that the Town Crier had brought to them. They were sore afraid of leaving their village. If they were captured they would be taken back to the plantation to become slaves once again or be killed by the soldiers who worked for the owners of the plantations.
If they escaped and got as far as the Injera river; they would have to avoid being attacked by the crocodiles that lived in the dark waters. The crocodiles were mean and ruthless. Many humans and animals had fallen prey to the great reptiles when they waded too close to the edge.
Who knew if this news was real?
What if it was a trick to recapture the runaway slaves and enslave them again?
Slowly they wandered back to their huts; it was too dangerous and they did not want to risk their lives. Only Musa remained. He walked towards the Town Crier.
“When will the ship come?”
“In seven days’ time.”
“Where will it take us?”
“To a beautiful land filled with opportunities and we would be free once more.”
Being a slave and being a runaway did not seem to be different in his eyes. As a runaway, he could not go about like a free born person so he was still a slave though he no longer lived and worked on the plantation. If he could get on the ship he could live like a free man in the lands of his ancestors.
Very early the next morning Musa quietly sneaked away from the village. He carried a cloth sack with him. In the sack were some smoked meat, a knife, a piece of rope, a loaf of bread and a calabash of water. He had walked a far distance when he decided to seek shelter under some trees. Suddenly he heard a rustling sound. Musa peered into the bushes. He saw a dog caught in a trap.
“Please free me.” The dog whimpered.
So, Musa freed the dog using the rope and the knife.
“Thank you, here take my sense of smell, it will guide you on your way.”
Musa placed it in his sack.
He shared the meat and bread with the dog and continued his journey.
The next day, he encountered a cat stuck in a tree.
“Please free me.” The cat meowed.
So, Musa freed the cat using the rope and the knife.
“Thank you, here take my sense of sight, it will guide you on your way.”
He shared the meat and bread with the cat and continued his journey.
Several days later Musa came upon a goat. It was caught in a muddy bog and could not get out.
“Please free me.” The goat cried.
So, Musa freed the goat using the rope and the knife.
“Thank you, here take my nimbleness, it will guide you on your way.”
He shared the water in the calabash with the goat and continued his journey.
Eventually, Musa reached the Injera river. The water was dark and still but he knew that crocodiles lived in the depths. Musa took the sense of smell and smelled the crocodiles lurking in the water. He took the sense of sight and saw the crocodiles in the depths of the river. He waded to the edge and the crocodiles rose to the surface and started to swim swiftly towards him. Quickly Musa took out the nimbleness of the goat and scampered across their backs to the other side.
Next day he boarded the ship and travelled to Africa where he lived as a free man and received many opportunities to prosper because of his kindness. Musa met a beautiful woman, who was as kind as he was. He married her and they had a family. Musa and his family lived freely and happily ever after.