When Mazi gathered the kids under the full moon on the night of Christmas eve, he knew they weren't ready for the story he was about to tell them.
He knew science and technology had made them forget the ways of the old days. The days when Men served the gods of their forefathers, when human sacrifices was the highest form of sacrifice to please the gods.
At ninety-four years old, Mazi was the oldest man in the village and he had experienced all of this things first hand, before the white men came with their religion and the good book.
Mazi was grateful that the old ways were no longer practiced. No one had to die for any diety anymore but he wasn't happy that the new generation knew nothing about the old ways. "Even if it was no longer practiced, they should at least know about it". He thought to himself.
And that was why Mazi had chosen tonight, when he was sure that every one in the city had returned back to the village to celebrate Christmas with their families, to tell them the story of the river goddess.
"A very long time ago in this very village". Mazi began. "Long before the white men introduced us to Christianity, the people of this village worshipped the river goddess of the Uboho river.. It was forbidden for the goddess to be seen by any man so only the High priestess was allowed to go to the river and commune with the goddess".
The goddess felt the heart of man was filled with evil so she wanted nothing direct to do with them and that was why during the night of every uboho masquerade festival, she possesses the body of any female of her choice in the village who will bore her the next high priestess". Mazi noticed the shock on the faces of his listeners and he smiled. He looked at the parents who had joined them and they nodded at him, urging him to continue. “Yes my children. You see, this lady's wake up pregnant without having anything to do with any man. Just like Mary in the Bible, only that this women put to bed after the next three market days.
“But isn't three market days just three weeks?” one of the children asked and Mazi answered with a nod.
“The child is then taken to the river by the mother and would be left under the protection of the river goddess. Luckily for us, the white men came with their religion and the King agreed to serve their God but only if they could chase away the river goddess. The white men agreed and went on a twenty-one days fasting before marching to the river. They were the first men to set foot at the river. No one knew what happened after that because they all refused to say anything but all we knew was that after that day, no one saw the high priestess and the Uboho river has always remained dry since then”. Mazi finished his story.