Bra Spider and Bra Cunny Rabbit have always been friends. So close were they that not a day passed without one of them calling on the other. But of the two, Bra spider was the least educated, for he was greatly reluctant to go to school and improve himself. So in effect he never attended any school whatsoever. Whenever he was sent to school, he would swear and protest as if he was going to be lynched. In his heart he felt it was useless and a sheer waste of time. So while his friend Bra Cunny Rabbit took delight in going to school and in learning, in general, Bra Spider remained out in the street playing football. In spite of this the two still remained good friends. After Bra Cunny Rabbit returned from school, he and his friend would play together for some time.
Time went on as Bra Cunny Rabbit continued going to school regularly, leaving his friend lagging behind him. So he learnt much from his teachers which he accumulated and stored for ‘tomorrow’. Bra Spider on the other hand continued ceaselessly skipping school. He would rather play in street corners from morning until such time when he reckoned the school day would be over than endure the ordeal he felt school offered him.. Then he would return quietly home as if he was returning from school. He repeated this trick on a daily basis. Whilst he continued his truancy, his friend continued profiting from his lessons at school. Year after year, things went on in the same old way. Bra Cunny Rabbit brought home at the end of each year unfaltering news of success in his exams. Bra Spider, on the other hand, kept playing a game of hide and seek with his parents. For he had nothing good like his friend to report back.
After five years of sheer hard work, Bra Rabbit sat to his School Certificate Examination. By that time not much flesh was left on him as he had been going through almost endless sleepless nights for his strongest desire was to come out with nothing but the best. So he drilled himself on all the subjects he had to take on a regular basis. At the end of that strict regime he was satisfied with his effort and thus confident of a resounding victory at the end. He then resumed playing football with his friend Bra Spider once more after a long break. They had great fun together. But often Bra Spider who was always on top of things in the field of play would taunt him,” Say, bookworm.” But Bra Cunny Rabbit would just quietly play on without paying much heed to his taunts. Soon, he was fully accepted again.
Eventually, when the results were released Bra Cunny Rabbit came out tops. He had the best result of all. He felt so proud of his great achievement. He almost went mad with joy and a sense of accomplishment as almost everyone kept commending his efforts. Cunny Rabbit’s parents now carried their head right up in the community as every other person was full of admiration for him as they kept congratulating him and his parents. But his happiness and joy became a source of embarrassment, pain and torment to his friend who now secretly was beginning to regret not having followed the good examples of his friend. As his pain and regrets grew more persistent, Bra Spider started dodging his friend, for he didn’t know how to cover up his real feelings of jealousy and hatred for the success of his friend.
Bra Cunny Rabbit’s joy mounted even further when a few days later he was awarded a UNESCO BURSARY to enable him to pursue further studies at Amherst College in the United States of America.
Bra Cunny Rabbit’s parents now carried their head even higher in the town as they were very happy and hopeful for the progress of their son. They spoke with great pride about him to everyone they met or who met or visited them. They were now the centre of attention as others joined them in sharing their joy and thanksgiving. But not everyone was happy. Others there were like Bra Spider’s parents who reacted less enthusiastically. But then their anger at their son’s failure to perform was expressed in very harsh terms: ‘Where were you all the time that you could not do as well as your friend? Did someone sit on your brain?”
“The teacher didn’t like me, that’s why he failed me.”
“Shut up with that nonsense, you big liar. He didn’t like you? What sort of useless excuse is that one? Is that why you should have no result?….Let’s accept the fact that he really doesn’t like you. Is he the only teacher in the school that his word should prevail over that of others in the school?”
“He made all the other teachers not to like me ma.”
“Because you’re a bloody idiot, perhaps. That’s why they’d all gang up against you. Just get away from my sight before I box you to death you more than useless thing.”
Bra Spider’s pain, shame, regret and worries thus multiplied. He stood around, behind the house brooding over his unhappiness. Then summing up courage, he swore, “To hell with it, after all I could still be a footballer and make it in life.”
With that encouraging thought, Bra Spider skipped off to join his friends playing football in a nearby plot of land.
‘Eh Bra Spider!” Bra Dog shouted as he saw him, “You must be feeling lonely now, eh?”
“Why?” Bra Spider asked, confused and puzzled as to what was being suggested.
“Come on, stop pretending as if you do not know that you are soon going to be missing a friend.”
“Truly I don’t know a thing, except if you could care to hint me now.”
“Do you want me to believe that you don’t know that your friend, Bra Cunny Rabbit is just about to leave these shores for further studies overseas?”
The thought of separating from his friend added further to his anguish. But still, he didn’t want to believe it was true. Then his friends started taunting him. That worsened his situation even further. The slightest chance that he saw he used to sneak away stealthily. But flight and escape did little to alleviate his plight. He became more dejected and depressed. The only way now he thought that was left to redeem his mind from being sunk into permanent depression and dementia was through his friend, Bra Cunny Rabbit. There was the only place where he was certain of being listened to with a sympathetic ear and get help possibly.
Soon enough, he announced himself at Bra Cunny Rabbit’s house just as he was about to go out. Almost breathless, Bra Spider greeted his friend and asked, with the hope that it would be denied. “My good friend, how true is it that you’re going to study abroad? This is what I’ve been hearing all around and which I found difficult to believe since you have not told me of it.” Having said that Bra Spider stood back looking anxiously towards his friends’ mouth whilst his worried heart kept pounding like a tumba.
“It’s very much true, Bra Spider, I’m very sorry I wasn’t able to tell you earlier, but that’s the situation I suddenly found myself in: preparing to go abroad for further studies.”
“Do, Bra Cunny Rabbit, please have pity on me, please don’t go away. I’d be left alone. You should know that I have no other friend besides you,” Bra Spider whose face was already drenched in tears kept pleading.
Bra Cunny Rabbit was visibly touched in seeing his friend for once in his life feeling regret, dejection and worry. But what could he do now to help him, he wondered. He thought hard about it, but he could think of no feasible plan. Then he thought of swaying his mind away by convincing him that his travelling was not as enviable as he was thinking.
“My friend Bra Spider, don’t envy my situation, for if you should know how I’d be travelling, you’d prefer to stay home safely. My friend, truly it’s not easy.”
Raising his head up, he saw Bra Spider now crying bitterly, so he knew his method has not worked. To control him, Bra Cunny Rabbit promised, “Okay, my friend stop crying, ya. And don’t you worry. Just wait until tomorrow and see what I’ll do for you.”
“Eh? Are you going to take me along with you? Are you, Bra Rabbit?”
“Ah, you just wait me, Bra Spider.”
“So long as you do not leave me behind, I’m prepared to do all that you may require me to do for you.”
Bra Cunny Rabbit started preparing very early the next morning. He put his clothing in a big bundle. He remembered the advice ‘make an impression.’ So, immediately dressed and suffused in the fragrance of Old Scotch Cologne, he carried his luggage along. Bra Spider almost collided into him shouting,’Bra Rabbit, Bra Rabbit, remember you promised to take me along, eh. Remember?”
“Well, if you say so I’ll not deny you. But I can’t remember making any such promise to you. But since you are insisting, and only on those terms, I’ll have no alternative. But I must again warn – if only you know how I’d be travelling there.!”
“Fine, provided you’re prepared to be up in this bundle of clothes.”
Bra Spider though frightened at the thought, summoned enough courage to give it a try. He was thus thrown into the bundle and tied up neatly along with the clothes. With the bundle containing Bra Spider slung over his shoulder, Bra Cunning Rabbit set forth on his journey. He walked briskly ahead as the weight was weighing him down. To ease the pain and the strain on his shoulders he kept shifting the load from his left to the right. But as he went further the weight became more and more unbearable. Besides, Bra Cunny Rabbit was already grumbling.
“Please be patient, we’ll soon get there,” Bra Spider pleaded.
“You don’t even know where we’re going to. I alone know how far it is left to go,” Bra Cunny Rabbit replied.
“But I do hope it’s not too far to the end.”
“Sorry, there’s still a long way to go.” So they continued quietly but patiently, sweating through all the way under the scorching heat of the sun. Then at last they arrived at the airport where they waited for some time to check in. Bra Spider kept wriggling uneasily within the suffocating bundle meanwhile. Then within forty five minutes a Boeing 707 flight landed at the tarmac.
“What’s that? What’s that? Are we safe? Aren’t we about to be killed?”. Bra Spider kept demanding from inside the safe abode of his bundle.
“Shhh! Be quiet! Or they’ll soon notice or suspect that you’re in there. It’s the plane that’s landing. Please don’t say anything at all, don’t even shake, you hear? Just remain still and quiet, ya!”
Bra Spider numbed his muscles, remaining as still as if he were death itself buried in the village graveyard. Bra Cunny Rabbit went through customs and immigration swiftly without any hitch. His luggages were now being weighed and scanned. His heart was limping within him as it went through the process. But he kept fearing that his luggage might be opened and his friend discovered. So he kept praying and praying for God to avert such a possibility. Indeed, God did help him. His luggage was okayed. He was allowed to take his bundle as hand luggage. So with it held in his hand, he mounted the flight craft and emerged in the splendour of the aircraft cabin. Then the loud complaints of Bra Spider erupted.
Bra Rabbit had cause now to untie the bundle to have the spider that was imprisoned within it released. The sooner the knot was unwound Bra Spider sprang out like a spring kept on hold. So sharp and violent was his breakout that the whole plane was set in agitation. Take off was thus delayed to allow the airport authorities to come in and inspect as well as investigate. Bra Cunny Rabbit vehemently protested his innocence and ignorance. He maintained that he didn’t know of it until when he heard an unusual sound just then upon entering the plane. Bra Spider was thus arrested and whisked off to the nearby police station where he was held for some time in a cell.
Bra Spider thus missed yet another chance in life. Not to be totally left out after his release, he has enrolled at the Lumley trade centre learning building skills.