In Kundeve, there was a King called Wazobiadi. King Wazobiadi loved his people, and his people loved him. Every year, King Wazobiadi would throw a party for his entire kingdom. At the party, people would perform. The best performance would win a bag of gold, a mansion and a royal blessing.
Every one wanted to win! So, before the party the town was a beehive of preparation. Singers sang. Dancers danced, spinning round till they fell, in dizzy heaps. Jugglers, threw balls into the air till they were rainbows of colour. Everywhere, people practised hard to give a show fit for a king.
Except, in Sade’s house. Sade’s house was at the outskirts of the kingdom. It was small, with mud walls and a leaky roof. In rain, it dripped buckets of water, in Hammartan, it blew in bellows of dust. Sade lived there with Grandmother Akon.
One day Grandma Akon gave Sade a surprise– a flute. “Play it, Sade. May your music bring healing, and happiness everywhere you go.” She said.
Sade loved playing the flute. He played it in the morning on the way to the bush. He played it on his way to the stream. He played the flute everywhere he went.
Everyday, they would wake up early to gather sticks for sale and fruits for food. They would walk many miles through the forest. In the evening they would return to their hut, sweaty tired and hungry.
One day, Sade saw a Canary looking sad. “Canary, why are you so sad?”
“Because I can’t find red berries for my chicks,” said Canary.
” I know were you can get juicy delicious red berries,” Sade said, and he led Canary to berries Grandma had seen earlier.
“Thank you very much!” The Canary said, plucking them for her chicks.
Another day, Sade saw Monkey trying to scratch his back. “Hello, Mr Monkey, can I help?”
“Please!” Monkey said, “I am itching like I hugged a bag of fleas, and I can’t reach the spot!”
Sade got a stick and helped scratch Monkey’s back.
“Thank you Sade,” Monkey said with a smile of relief.
On his way home, Sade saw squirrels sulking by the stream.
” Sade, look! The wind blew our blue beach ball across the stream. We can’t swim. Can you help us? Please.”
Sade swam across the stream and got the ball, for the squirrels. The squirrels were overjoyed. They danced and cheered, wriggling their bushy tails and somersaulting in the air.
“Thank you Sade!” They chorused.
“You are welcome. Have a great day,” Sade said.
On his way, he saw Elephant thrashing about with a coconut covering his face.
“Wait!” Sade said.”Let me help you.”
“Please, my eyes are on fire. I can’t see.” Elephant said, sobbing.
“Calm down. I am leading you to the stream where we can wash this off.”
Sade led Elephant to the stream and rinsed the coconut pulp off his eyes.
“Thank you. This is so kind of you,” Elephant said.
“You are welcome,” Sade replied.
A week to the King’s party, Grandma Akon and Sade were formally invited to the ball.
“Grandma Akon,”said Sade ,”Can I present something before the king?”
Grandma Akon laughed. “My darling, what would ‘you’ present before the king?”
“I’ll play my flute.” Sade replied. His eyes were closing and his voice floated in the dark hut.”If I win, I would take you away from here Grandma. We will have a mansion and a bag of gold. Imagine that, Grandma. We would never sleep hungry again.”
“Indeed, but you need to do something very special to win. You need to do something the king has never seen before,” said Grandma Akon.
Sade lay on his mat on the cold, hard floor thinking about what Grandma Akon said. There has to be a way, he thought. He fell asleep thinking about this.
The next morning, He woke smiling.
“Grandma! I have an idea! I will get my friends to join me. My show will be colourful and different.” He said.
“Good idea,”Grandma Akon said patting his head. “Who will be members your team?”
“I will ask the canary to sing, the monkey to drum, the squirrels to dance and the elephant to carry us there.”
“Very well.” Grandma Akon said. “You should go at once.” So, he dashed off.
Sade went to the forest and talked to his friends: Canary,Monkey,Elephant and the squirrels. He told them about the King’s party and asked them to be a part of his team.
“Canary, you will sing. Monkey, you will drum. Elephant, you’ll carry us there. Squirrels, you will dance,juggle and somersault.”
Everyone agreed. So Sade taught them a forgotten Kundeve song his Grandma “We Are Better Together”. He played his flute and they practised. They practised everyday until the big day.
On the big day, the town was festooned with gold and silver ballons and colourful ribbons. Many wonderful dances and songs were performed singly. Sade and his friends were the only group performance. With smiles on their faces, they sang, danced and drummed before King Wazobiadi with their whole hearts. When they finished, the king stood up and clapped saying “Bravo! Bravo! Do it again!”
So they did. They won that year’s show. Sade was given a bag of gold and the king’s blessing. When they asked him where he wanted his mansion, guess what he said?
He said, “I want it near Grandma’s hut, close to my friends, in case they ever need my help again.”
“You are a very wise boy,” the King said. “It will be done at once.”
And it was. The king built a sprawling mansion for Sade and Grandma Akon. His friends Canary, Monkey, Elephant and the squirrels had special spots in its gardens. In the evenings the melody of their music would fill the air. And anyone that listened hard would hear :
We are better together,
We are stronger together,
One for all, all for one,
We are one!