There comes a time in Umuodu when the gods appear to find a wife. They come in the form of a python. People of Umuodu tag this python as the Sacred Python of the gods.

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By the time they find a wife, a feast shall be held in this regard.

This has happened in many years when the gods come to earth to find a wife.

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The sacred snake must strangle and swallow a woman. This woman is regarded as the wife of the gods.

She shall be buried at the tree of the gods which is located in the deepest forest of Antioch.

By the evening hours, people shall gather at the village shrine to celebrate the new wife of the gods.

Things changed when the gods chose the heartbeat of Ekene.

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Ekene is a village hunter and a well respected one at that.

He doesn’t go into the forest and come out empty-handed.

His co-hunters had wondered if he used charm to capture all these animals.

His life of happiness was shattered when the gods chose Amaka to be their new wife.

Sacred Python: feast of the innocent

Story of the Sacred Pythons

Umuodu is a remote village located in the Eastern part of old Nigeria.

People happily lived together and also did things together.

They gave all their thanks to their gods as they believed that the gods were the source of their survival.

In Umuodu, it was believed that the gods, just like man, also need wives and children.

They believe that gods also need to find someone to sleep with so that they can be appeased emotionally.

Long before the generation of Ekene, the first king of Umuodu was saved by a very huge python. While he was in the forest gathering some herbs, a lion attacked him.

To his biggest surprise, a huge python came for his rescue.

The python wrapped itself all over the lion and strangled it to death.

Before the king of Umuodu, the great python swallowed the giant lion.

From that day henceforth, pythons and any snake-like animal was declared a sacred animal.

The sacred python found its way into the norms and traditions of Umuodu.

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Through words from messengers of the gods, it was obtained that the gods also need wives.

This is made possible as the chosen maiden to enter the shrine of the gods.

In the (holy hot) shrine is a mighty python that has spent many years.

The python will strangle the maiden and finally make a meal of her.

By the time this is done, people of Umuodu shall rejoice and make merry as the gods through their sacred python have married a new wife.

Sacred Python: Ekene Returns From the Forest

For the very first time, Ekene came back home empty-handed.

He never stopped to ask if his enemies had finally remembered to deal with him.

While he was contemplating on why he came home empty-handed, the Chief Priest who doubles as the messenger of the gods visited him.

It was the very first time this was happening for the messenger of the gods to visit him.

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It is always taboo for a woman to sit or have eye contact with the Chief Priest.

While he walks on the street, the women run to the nearest hideout while the men bow as he passes.

After the king of Umuodu, follows the Chief Priest when it comes to hierarchical distribution.

“I greet your eyes of the gods” Ekene initiates the discussion. “To what do I owe this August visit?” he asked.

“Peace be unto this household” The Chief Priest blessed. “I come in peace” he assured.

This brought a sense of comfort for Ekene. While he tried to get a seat for the messenger of the gods,  he was halted.

“I am not here to sit young man but to give you the good news from the gods,” the Chief Priest said.

“Good news? What is it all about, am all ears” Ekene said drawing closer to the Chief Priest?

“The gods have chosen Amaka to be their wife,” the Priest said.

“Amaka? Which of the Amakas?” He asked, looking confused.

“The same Amaka that is betrothed to you,” the Chief Priest said.

“Tufiakwa! The gods must be crazy for ever thinking that my Amaka will be used to serve their evil wants” he objected angrily.

“Be mindful of your choice of words my son to avoid incurring the wrath of the gods. I know that it is too difficult for you, but don’t worry, the gods shall console you” the priest assured.

“You and the gods must be stupid to think that I will sit and watch you take away my only source of happiness” he affirmed.

Without uttering more words the Chief Priest left.

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Ekene’s rage increased. He was worried about how he came back from the forest without any animals. And now, the Chief Priest has brought up another heartbreaking news.

He concluded that over his dead body he would allow Amaka to be sacrificed to the evil sacred snake in the name of marriage with the gods.

Sacred Python: Ekene visits Amaka

Amaka noticed that Ekene was not happy but she refused to ask him.

She just went inside and brought water for him. She knows when her man is angry and when he is approachable.

It is very possible that Amaka might not be aware of the tragic story that has popped up lately.

His interaction with her showed that she is not yet aware of the doom that awaited her in the next seven market days.

It is the tradition of the land of Umuodu that the parents of the maiden shall break the news to their daughter.

When he appeared calm, Amaka asked him why he was wearing a long face earlier.

As if he has been reminded of what he has temporarily forgotten, his sad mood returned.

Amaka queried herself for making him sad again even after she had successfully brought happiness into his heart.

“My love, do not bother yourself about my mood, I will be fine when the time is ripe” he assured.

She was no longer in the mood of pressing further.

Within her, she concluded to ask the same question when she knows that he has fully bounced back to his happy moods.

But will that ever be possible? Amaka’s father is back from the king’s palace where he was briefed on the latest sad news.

He is the only person in the right position to break the news to his daughter.

This is because parents are the only set of people who know the right time to tell their children anything.

Sacred Python: Amaka is Briefed

On the return from the palace looking unhappy, Amaka’s father requested water.

She quickly got him water and was troubled about why everyone was looking sad.

Her father was too slow to break the news as he wasn’t ready to lose his only child.

His wife died many years ago at the stream. While she was trying to fetch water from the village stream, she drowned.

Since it is taboo to take home the corpse of any person drowned by the water, she was buried near the stream.

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Ever since she died, Amaka has been the only person taking care of her father’s needs.

She cooks for him, fetches water, and does all other feminine oriented domestic chores (works meant for women).

By the time he told Amaka what the gods had in store for her, she fainted.

Efforts were made to resuscitate her. By the time she finally woke up, she started crying.

She didn’t blame Ekene much for not telling her earlier.

Already known to her that Ekene was not in the right position to announce any news of such to her.

Ekene kept on assuring her that nothing will ever happen to her.

He has decided to give up his own life if it was necessary.

She tried to calm him down. Amaka started preaching for him of what he, her father and the entire village stands to gain if she married the gods.

On the other hand, if she refuses to accept the hands of the gods in marriage it will spell great doom for the entire village.

One Mgbechikwere tried it and the entire community suffered.

It was time for Mgbechikwere to enter the holy hut of the gods and be dealt with by the sacred python.

By the time it was for her to appear before the people, she was nowhere to be found.

Men were sent to look for her but she was nowhere to be found.

After two days of her disappearance, people started dying mysteriously.

Her father was the person who sabotaged her hideout and presented her to the Chief Priest.

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She was finally sacrificed to the gods as a wife and people made merry.

As if it was magic, the calamity that has befallen the community seized to exist.

Mgbechikwere’s father was awarded the title “Nan Nwuye Ndichi” (father to the wife of the gods).

Men with such titles are well respected in society. Sometimes they influence the decisions of the king.

This is one of the things Amaka’s father stands to gain if he allows his daughter to be married to the gods.

And as for Ekene, he shall flourish in his business of hunting and the gods shall continue to bless him all the days of his life.

Great confusion has set in and Ekene is finding it difficult to let go.

He finally left Amaka’s place for his maternal home.

Ekene Arrives His Maternal Home

There in his maternal home was his great-grandfather. His great-grandfather is 173 years old and the oldest man in Umutabia.

He was the famous Chief Priest of Umutabia before old age took over his strength.

He retired while his eldest son continued from where he stopped.

His eldest son died leaving the Chief Priest title with his own firstborn.

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His firstborn is the uncle to Emeka and the younger brother to his mother.

Because his great-grandfather was still breathing, he decided to meet him for his words of wisdom.

The old Chief Priest narrated the story of how Umuodu came to worship the sacred snake and made sacrifices to it in the name of marrying a wife for the gods.

He told him that the only way or solution to what he is facing is the elimination of the python. This was impossible and can never be possible.

The traditions of Umuodu and Umutabia are completely different.

While you can’t kill or harm anything that looks like a snake in Umuodu, it is great meat in Umutabia.

This has caused one big problem with the two communities a long time ago but was settled after many years of enmity.

After staying a day listening to the voice of his great-grandfather, Ekene decided on what to do.

The D-Day

The day for Amaka to be offered to the gods as a wife through the sacred python has arrived.

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After all, rituals were made, the Chief Priest encouraged her to enter the holy hot of the gods.

She gradually entered amidst tears. Within seconds she screamed and everyone was happy.

They started jubilating as the gods had gotten married to a new wife.

To their greatest shock, Amaka ran out of the holy hut.

“What happened? What happened?” People murmured.

“It is dead!” She shouted.

Fear gripped everyone. No one accepted to enter the shrine as they feared the snake might not be dead.

Two brave men decided to enter and confirm it by themselves.

Finally, they came out alive and broke the same news.

“Abomination! Aru!” People never stopped to exclaim.

The Chief Priest entered and confirmed it by himself that the sacred python of the gods was murdered.

He announced to the king who was also present that the snake was murdered.

Who did it? No one was ready to provide an answer to it.

“I did, ” Ekene said while coming out from where he was seated.

After Ekene had the meeting with his great-grandfather, he returned to his village.

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A night before the D-day he had visited the giant python.

Armed to the teeth, Ekene embarked on the most dangerous journey of his life.

His battle with the sacred python was so disastrous but he finally brought the snake to its knees.

He won the battle and the snake died in the holy hut of the gods.

The king commanded his guards to seize him. Sacrifices, rituals etc were made so that the gods can be appeased and a new snake be given to them.

Unfortunately, it seems the gods were silent and getting ready to destroy the village in seven days.

Amaka was also seized. While the rituals went on, she, Ekene and her father were tied up in the holy hut of the murdered sacred python.

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For seven days rituals were made for a new snake but nothing seems to happen.

The envisaged anger of the gods never came down on anyone.

Nothing happened even after another seven days.

Amaka, Ekene and her father were freed to go as it is now crystal clear that the secret of the sacred python was mere superstition.

The Chief Priest and his entire lineage were sentenced to death by hanging as they have for ages deceived the people of Umuodu.

Umuodu has sacrificed many maidens to this so-called sacred python courtesy of the family of the now late Chief Priest.

A new Chief Priest was announced and the people of Umuodu celebrated with Emeka and Amaka as they finally became husband and wife.

The End……



This story and its contents are completely fictional and the products of Nekenwa Saviosantos imagination. Kindly disregard all forms of familiarity as they are nothing but coincidental.

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