FROM THE ARCHIVES
For this edition of my notebook, I present you a story I wrote ten years ago. Many thanks for always making time to read my work. I’m greatly inspired by you. In a bid to provide you something fresh and exciting, I would like to inform you that my notebook will now be published monthly. Look out for the next edition at the end of January 2018. If you are yet to subscribe, please do so. My notebook will hereafter be sent only to those who have subscribed and will no longer be available on my website. I wish you a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Talkido the Parrot Takes on Seven Armed Men
Prologue: Talkido is renowned to be the greatest orator in the parrot kingdom of Boca. In this story, relying only on her great power of speech, she takes on seven armed men who had taken the parrots of Boca hostage.
The parrot kingdom of Boca was very quiet that Saturday morning. After the party thrown the night before by the king of Boca, most parrots were still tucked up in bed, apparently in no hurry to get up.
The sun was rising on the distant horizon, and a perfumed breeze blew across the kingdom. The rivers of Boca flowed with dreamy songs and trees and flowers swayed in harmony.
On that particular morning, Boca was the most peaceful and beautiful place on earth.
Suddenly, the quiet of the morning was shattered by the sound of gunshots. Then more gunshots. And Boca was thrown into confusion.
Parrot after parrot flew from their homes to see what was amiss. At first no one could explain. The marketplace was full of parrots all talking at the same time. The commotion was so great that no parrot could understand what the next parrot was saying.
More gunshots rang through the kingdom. The parrots became noisier than ever. 'We must be under attack!' one said.
'It appears so,' others squawked in agreement, fear etched on their faces.
'I think we should go in the direction of the gunshots and find out what exactly is happening,' a parrot suggested.
The rest nodded in agreement.
And so the parrots flew in the direction of the gunshots, south of the kingdom. It wasn't long before they found the invaders stationed at the Great Gate, which was the only way in and out of Boca.
There were seven huge and muscular men in bulletproof vests, armed with guns and grenades. Their mean faces made the parrots shake with fear. Realising they were in mortal danger, the parrots tried to turn and run. But it was too late.
'If anyone moves we will shoot every parrot in sight!' the ringleader of the invaders barked. He fired a round of bullets into the air to demonstrate his seriousness.
Every parrot stood still with fear, not daring to move a muscle. They looked at each other in disbelief that these violent men could have invaded their kingdom. 'Please, don't shoot!' one implored. 'We will do exactly as you say.'
'Good!' the ringleader said with satisfaction. 'Remain right where you are.'
'Anything you say. Please, don't shoot.'
Talkido stepped forward at this point. Renowned as the greatest orator in the animal world, she had used her power on many occasions to resolve conflicts.
'What do you want from us?' she asked.
The ringleader laughed. He marched towards Talkido, his gun dangling from one shoulder. The rest of the men had their guns trained on the parrots, ready to shoot.
'You must be a very bold parrot to ask me that question,' the ringleader sneered. 'What is your name?'
'My name is Talkido.'
'Talkido? What a name for a parrot. I bet you are very talkative!' the ringleader taunted.
'I am not talkative. I am simply the greatest orator alive.’
The ringleader and his men laughed until tears rolled down their faces. They could not believe how boastful Talkido was.
'The greatest orator alive, indeed!' the ringleader said, roaring with more laughter.
'What do you want from us?' Talkido said calmly. The other parrots continued to shake with fear.
The men stopped laughing. The ringleader assessed Talkido carefully, stopping just a few feet from her.
'We have come to take some of you away with us to the city where you will be sold in cages to merchants from distant lands.'
'That is slavery!' Talkido sounded incredulous.
'You have no choice,' the ringleader said firmly.
'We have a choice!' Talkido replied.
The ringleader and his men were stunned by Talkido's audacity. A brief silence followed.
'What choice do you have?' the ringleader asked at last.
'Give us the chance to fight for our freedom.'
'And how do you intend to do that? We have military might, you have nothing, not even bows and arrows.'
'I will fight all seven of you on behalf of my fellow parrots,' Talkido replied confidently.
'How?' the ringleader sounded puzzled.
'I will take you on one after the other with my oratorical powers. If I lose, take as many of us as you like. But if I win, you go away empty-handed, never to return.’
The ringleader and his men exchanged curious glances, unsure how Talkido intended to use her oratorical powers to fight their guns and grenades. Sensing their hesitation, Talkido persisted: 'Surely, it is only fair that you give me the chance to defend myself and my fellow parrots. After all, you have military might on your side.'
The men had no choice.
'Okay,' the ringleader agreed.
'Tell your men to attack me one after the other,' Talkido said, stepping away from the other parrots.
The ringleader gave order, and the first of his men charged at Talkido with his gun.
'I command your bullets to turn into yellow petals!' Talkido yelled in a high-pitched voice.
As the man squeezed the trigger of his gun, bright yellow petals fell out instead of bullets.
'I command you to fall asleep!' Talkido shouted with authority. And the man promptly fell asleep on the ground.
There was a stunned silence. The ringleader barked out furious orders, and the second man charged at Talkido.
'Be paralysed from head to toe!' Talkido squawked. And the second man froze, falling to the ground with a heavy thud.
The other parrots looked on in disbelief. The ringleader barked out order after order until all his men were lying on the ground, taken down by Talkido's magical oratory.
For a split-second the ringleader was gripped with fear, but he shook it off. He cocked his gun and took aim at Talkido. There was a boom. Several parrots began to cry, knowing that the bullet would surely blow Talkido apart.
But just before the bullet hit Talkido, she commanded in her shrieking voice: 'Return to sender!'
As the gun smoke settled, all the parrots were amazed to see the ringleader rolling on the ground in agony. The bullet had returned to him, catching him on the right thigh.
Slowly, the other men rose drunkenly to their feet. They were all shaking with fear.
Talkido marched towards them.
'I won. You lost,' she said proudly. 'So you must return to your city and never come to our land again. Is that understood?'
The men nodded in agreement.
'Off you go now before I finish you off!'
Falling over themselves, the men carried their leader on their shoulders. And they left Boca as fast as they could.
'Let the party begin!' one parrot shouted in delight.
And then the whole of Boca exploded into celebration as the parrots sang the praises of Talkido.■